U.S. Men’s National Team star Christian Pulisic scored arguably one of the biggest goals in the nation team’s history on Monday, helping the U.S. defeat Iran 1-0.
At the same time, Pulisic came down was a painful midsection injury which prompted him to exit the game at halftime.
With the U.S. advancing to the knockout phase of the World Cup to face the Netherlands on Saturday, Pulisic appears to be ready to return. On Friday, U.S. Soccer said Pulisic was cleared to return for Saturday.
The winner will advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. The U.S. has only advanced to the quarterfinals twice before, once in 1930 and again in 2002.
Getting Pulisic back is critical for the U.S. to have any chance of making the quarterfinals.
“Obviously very painful, but feeling better,” Pulisic said. “I am doing everything in my power to be out there on Saturday.”
The injury forced Pulisic to go to a hospital with a pelvic contusion. He was treated and released within a matter of hours.
“It was a crazy kind of experience for me,” he said. “Obviously the emotions were running at a high, so I was doing everything I could to continue playing, and all of it was a blur, to be honest. Once I was told I needed to come out and go to the hospital, I looked at it on the phone. It was the hardest thing.”
At 24 and participating in his first World Cup, Pulisic has become the face of U.S. Men’s Soccer. After scoring the lone goal in Monday’s contest, he now has an iconic international goal on his resume.
But the goal has Pulisic searching for more.
“Feels great to score in a World Cup,” he said. “I am hoping I haven’t had that moment yet. I hope it is in front of me. So, it feels great to be where we are at right now, but I hope there is more to come.”