Christian Pulisic will be ready in time for Saturday’s game against the Netherlands after suffering an injury in Tuesday’s Group B game against Iran, he assured his USA teammates.
Pulisic had a tough run with Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranbando just before halftime before heading in Sergino Dest’s cross to make it 1–0 and helping the USA qualify for the Knockout Round.
“Don’t worry we’ll be ready on Saturday,” the Chelsea winger said in a post-match social media post, while team-mate Weston McKennie said: “I sent him a message to see how he was doing and he said ‘I’ll be ready on Saturday. It’s best to be there.’
Pulisic lay in goalmouth for several minutes after the collision, but left the field, was treated by his team’s trainer and re-entered to finish the first half.
Brenden Aaronsson replaced Pulisic at half-time, and US Soccer announced after the game that he had been taken to hospital, diagnosed with a pelvic contusion, and described as “all day long.”
“Obviously I’m very grateful he threw himself out there,” McKennie said after the game. “It was heartbreaking at the end, but I’m glad I made it and I’m still here.”
After the game, USA coach Greg Verhalter praised Pulisic for his hard work and toughness and had a short video call with the players from the locker room.
“I was able to talk to him and he’s fine,” Verhalter said at a press conference. “That’s what he has, when a goal is scored, he’s going to be aggressive.
“He gets in the box and puts defenders in a lot of trouble with his change of pace. It’s great when one of the best players is the hardest worker.
“And he is”. I can’t say enough about Christianity. ”
USA captain Tyler Adams said he is praying for his teammates, adding that he expects goals like this from Pulisic.
“How many times in his career have he scored a goal like that? From behind, it’s spectacular,” Adams said. “The way he timed himself in the box, the way he got to the ball, he could do anything for this team to win.
“He’s obviously an important player for us. I’ll be praying for him and wishing him all the best. He’ll do well there. I think he’ll do whatever it takes to be in the next game. .”
Josh Sargent was replaced by Haji Wright in the 75th minute after suffering a strained back on his right leg while dodging a tackle. Like Pulisic, he underwent treatment on the field, but was able to walk on his own.
The USA used up nine minutes of second-half stoppage time to clinch their first World Cup victory since 2014 and seal a round-of-16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday.