Christian Pulisic cleared to play for USMNT vs. Netherlands


Have no fear, US men’s national team fans.

The federation confirmed Friday that Christian Pulisic will be available for Saturday’s Round of 16 match vs. the Netherlands at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (10 am ET | FOX, Telemundo).

The 24-year-old Chelsea star was an injury doubt after suffering a pelvic contusion in their do-or-die Group B finale against Iran, powering home the USMNT’s crucial first-half goal in Tuesday's 1-0 victory. Pulisic got hurt when crashing into goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, but the Yanks held on to book a knockout round place.

While Pulisic is cleared to play after being briefly hospitalized and then returning to training, it’s unclear if he’ll start or come off the bench vs. Group A winners Netherlands. Head coach Gregg Berhalter will want to keep that card close, until lineups are made public roughly 75 minutes before kickoff at Khalifa International Stadium.

Pulisic is the USMNT’s top scorer in Qatar, also assisting on Tim Weah’s strike in the Group B opener against Wales (1-1 draw). He’s started all three games at left wing and is arguably their biggest threat against the Dutch.

As important as Pulisic’s goal was against Iran, he’s hoping for an even bigger moment in USMNT history – similar to Landon Donovan’s game-winner against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup.

“Feels great to score in a World Cup,” Pulisic said Thursday. “I’m hoping I haven’t had that [Donovan] moment yet, to be honest. I’m hoping it’s in front of me. So it feels great to be where we’re at right now. But there’s still more to come.”

Should the USMNT beat the Dutch, they'll play either Argentina or Australia in a quarterfinal match on Dec. 9.