HomeSportsAmerican hero Christian Pulisic swears: 'I'll be ready on Saturday'

American hero Christian Pulisic swears: ‘I’ll be ready on Saturday’

DOHA, Qatar β€” De United States needed a hero.

Everything drove into the win-or-go-home game for the U.S. men’s national team on Tuesday Iran. The greatest moment, perhaps, in the history of this program. After failing to qualify for the final World Cupit all built up to this moment.

So it was appropriate when Christian Pulisic – who has been nicknamed “Captain America” ​​and starred in all the World Cup commercials and was the talisman for this historically young side – scored a sensational goal to give the USMNT a 1-0 victory over Iran and a spot in the round of 16.

Will Christian Pulisic be healthy on Saturday?

Will Christian Pulisic be healthy on Saturday?

Alexi Lalas and David Mosse react to Christian Pulisic’s injury and wonder if he will be fit enough to play in USMNT’s round of 16 game against the Netherlands.

The U.S. came out well on offense to start the game, and there was an overwhelming sense that a goal was imminent in front of a rowdy, pro-Iranian crowd. The breakthrough came in the 38th minute as a left back Jedi Robinson shot a ball deep on the left wing Team Meli territory, returned it to the captain Tyler Adamswho played it for Weston McKennie near the top of the penalty area.

The American midfielder saw Sergino Dest who shot down the right side and kicked a perfect ball into the penalty area which the full-back headed across the center to Pulisic, who crashed the far post and scored on a half-volley with the inside of his right foot.

“How many goals like that has he scored in his career?” Adams said with a grin. “I mean, back post, he’s brilliant in the way his timing is in the penalty area. And to get in front of that ball, you know, he’ll do anything for this team to help us win.

“Big game for us.”

Pulisic, just 24 years old, was brave, gutsy, courageous and literally risked his body to score his first World Cup goal.

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Pulisic breaks through!

Pulisic breaks through!

Christian Pulisic’s hard goal in the 38th minute stood up as the game winner for the USMNT.

As the Al Thumama Stadium erupted and the American players celebrated, Pulisic remained on the ground within goal. He had collided with the Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and need help. His teammates quickly gestured to the staff to run onto the field and for a few nervous minutes Pulisic was unable to stand upright and leaned on team trainers to help him walk.

Later on the sideline, he tried a jog, then clung back to the trainers for support. Finally, he took a drink of water, ran to midfield and finished the first half.

The American winger was clearly in pain when he returned to the field, but grimacing and resting his hands on his knees, doubled up. Pulisic did not return in the second half and was substituted Brenden Aaronson.

Pulisic was later taken to hospital for scans of his abdomen, and US Soccer announced a few hours after the game that Pulisic had been diagnosed with a pelvic contusion. His status is listed as day to day.

The USMNT faces the The Netherlands on Saturday (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) in the knockout round. Will Pulisic be able to play?

McKennie told reporters after the game that he texted his old teammate and friend to check in and Pulisic replied, “I believe I’ll be ready on Saturday.”

Pulisic is “Man of the Match”

Pulisic is

Sacha Kljestan named Christian Pulisic the “Man of the Match” in the United States’ 1–0 victory over Iran.

Although the injury was not part of the plan, Pulisic has waited and dreamed of this moment all his life. Especially since that fateful night in October 2017 when the USMNT were stunned in a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago that saw them fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Pulisic, then a 19-year-old rising star, scored the only goal of the Americans to give hope to his team. That moment has motivated and shaped the last four years of his life and career.

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Pulisic came to this World Cup feeling all the pressure to perform and be the star America wants and hopes to be.

His resume – including playing for Chelsea in the Premier League and being the first USMNT player to appear in and win the UEFA Champions League final was ripe for an addition anyway. Pulisic had a great assist Tim Wea‘s goal in the first game against Wales, but the US needed a little more from him to progress.

Sacrificing his body would suffice.

“Christian makes those runs, like that’s what he does, that’s the special quality he has,” said coach Gregg Berhalter. “As soon as the ball is wide, it goes into the penalty area with intensity, and good things happen and you score goals.

“We’ve seen him score a number of goals at Chelsea on the same type of runs. He crashes in the penalty area and makes things very difficult for defenders with his change of pace.”

A courageous performance

A courageous performance

On “FIFA World Cup Tonight,” Chad Ochocinco and Maurice Edu discuss USMNT and Christian Pulisic’s courageous performance to beat Iran.

Berhalter told his team before the game that this is exactly how the USA would score. They had been working on the same type of play during the game against England where the team shifts to one side and forces the opponent to do the same, leaving a chance for the weak side. McKennie played the right ball, Dest timed his run well, headed it over the goal mouth and Pulisic anticipated the ball’s location and made it into the back of the net.

“The guys executed it perfectly,” Berhalter said.

The USMNT FaceTimed their victorious hero in the locker room after the game because he couldn’t be there to jump around and celebrate with them. Berhalter said Pulisic was in good spirits, evident in the flurry of social media posts that followed in the waning hours.

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Pulisic actually ended up in the hospital and made his teammates back to their hotel just in time to surprise, greet and film them as they walked into the lobby. The genuine smile on his face was a classic representation of the close-knit brotherhood this team is so passionate about.

Weah came in first, saw Pulisic and gave him a hug. DeAndre Yedlin gave him one too. Kelly Acosta commented on one of Pulisic’s Instagram posts, “You dropped this [crown emoji].”

The White House posted a video of President Biden announcing to a crowd in Bay City, Michigan that “The United States defeated Iran 1-0. The game is over! … Anyway, I thought you might wanted to hear.”

Pulisic has spoken to the media several times in Qatar, but it is his teammates and coaches who have commented on how confined and laser-focused he has been since the team’s arrival a few weeks ago.

Before the group took to the field on Tuesday night, Pulisic had a smile on his face in the tunnel and during the national anthem. Who knew it would be a telling detail for what was to come? A historic defining moment, as American legends Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey did before him.

As McKennie rightly pointed out, each of the 26 players on this roster would be “willing to put their body on the line to make sure this team is successful.”

Just hang with this team for a day, and it’s clear that’s the case.

But in this particular match it was Pulisic who put everything on the line and now the US is allowed to extend their stay in Doha a bit longer.

“He left everything there”, goalkeeper Matt Turner said. “That’s the kind of man he is.”

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