USA soccer forward Christian Pulisic has been cleared to play in the team’s round-of-16 game against the Netherlands, the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team announced Friday.
Pulisic, 24, sustained a pelvic contusion relatively early in Tuesday’s match after he careened into Iran’s goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, while scoring the game’s only goal.
Brenden Aaronson replaced Pulisic in Tuesday’s game. The game-winning forward was taken to a hospital following halftime.
The U.S. Men’s Soccer Team had described Pulisic’s status after the game as day-to-day.
With the do-or-die win at Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar, the United States finished second in Group B play, giving the team a knockout shot at the Dutch Group A leader in a game scheduled for 10 a.m. EST Saturday.
A contusion, the term used by the team to describe Pulisic’s injury, is “a fancy word for a bruise” and can sometimes feel as bad as a broken bone, Dr. John Vasudevan, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, told TODAY.com.
The injury is either to the bone or soft tissues, such as muscles and tendons, and recovery usually takes between one to three weeks, he said.
Pulisic, a Hershey, Pennsylvania, native who plays for Chelsea in the British Premier League, ranks as one of two players with the seventh-most goals — 21 — in USA soccer history.
The other is hall of fame player Bruce Murray, a 1980s and ’90s midfielder who announced earlier this year he believes his own traumatic injuries on the field are the cause of cognitive impairment.
It’s clear the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team believes Pulisic’s participation in Tuesday’s game will be clutch.
“At this stage, it’s go time,” coach Gregg Berhalter said before a training session this week. “If you can push through it, you do. So I’m sure he’ll have that mindset.”
Armelle De Oliveira