Pulisic says US can ‘beat anyone’ regardless of injury


Doha, Qatar — If we are at the point of examining progress and momentum — and it certainly feels like we are — it must be said that christian pulisic Went in smoothly as soon as I came through the door. There was no noticeable hitch, no limp, no gimp. There was no hesitation.

Once seated, Pulisic’s confidence was undeniable. United States of america betting heavily against Netherlands But in Saturday’s World Cup round-of-16 match, Pulisic made it clear the players have no intention of doing anything other than moving on.

“I really believe we can play anybody and we can beat anybody,” Pulisic told ESPN at the team hotel on Friday. “We got kicked out of the group, which we can be very proud of. But now that we’re here, we’re not okay with doing that.”

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He added: “We have such a strong group of guys here that it definitely gives us confidence and also a bit of peace that we have a good team to do this.”

If America is finally able to pull off an upset against the Dutch, it’s hard to imagine Pulisic not being at the center of it. Yes, he suffered a “pelvic contusion” while scoring the game-winning goal against Iran Was suffering but at this point if he doesn’t play on Saturday it would be surprising. ,Manager Greg Berhalter said it “feels great” for Pulisic. at his news conference on Friday.)

Pulisic made it clear that he would do whatever needed to be done on the field. As the face of US Soccer for years, this is the moment he’s been dreaming about since before the despair of the 2017 disaster in Trinidad. The failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup had already cast doubt on Pulisic:

Leading America into the race for the World Cup and feeling the emotion that comes with wowing your country is like nothing he’s experienced before.

“I want it to last as long as it can,” he said. “I want to make it something that we look at for the rest of our lives.”

Pulisic has given himself a few moments of reflection. Goal against Iran, when he sneaks into goal to smash home sergino destinationhead cross while team melee goalkeeper Alireza BaronvandHis knees bumped together with his pelvis, it was an unbelievable combination of pride and pain.

Pulisic’s teammates didn’t really celebrate as they were unsure why he was lying on the ground, and Pulisic – in the midst of nausea and dizziness – was mostly trying to confirm that the goal was not disallowed by video. Had been helpful.

“I didn’t even think about taking a hit or being brave,” he said. “I just wanted the goal. … It was extremely painful, but it was all worth it to get the goal.”

Once he was able to stand up and walk toward the bench area, doctors told Pulisic that he would need to leave the stadium and go to a local hospital for tests. He was able to follow the end of the game on a phone – “brutal,” he said – and returned to the hotel before his teammates.

When the American players finally walked away to cheers from family and friends at the hotel around 2:30 p.m., Pulisic was in the middle of the receiving line, taking video on his phone and shouting in a show of unbridled emotion that was beyond his control. rare for.

“I was very proud. I’ve never been more proud of a group,” he said. “Seeing the joy, the celebration on their faces… It was a surreal moment.”

In fact, since he arrived in Qatar about three weeks ago, Pulisic seemed lighter, more open and more at ease. There’s no denying that he remains the team’s biggest star, but he made a point to highlight the difference between this iteration of the USMNT and previous editions.

Earlier in his career, Pulisic may have been one of the only national team players to feature regularly in top European competitions. More than that, he was one of the only players fans could point to as the future of the American team.

Now, he is surrounded by players of that level. player in Premier League, player in Champions League, Players who are following the path taken by them and are trying their best to leave an even bigger footprint this time.

It’s a reality that gives Pulisic and everyone around this American team hope for what can be achieved four years from now at the World Cup on home soil. It’s a reality that makes a game like Saturday feel like an opportunity to make history even more quickly.

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