Hurt on goal, Pulisic hopes to face Netherlands at World Cup

Nov 30, 2022, 5:32 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2022, 8:59 am
Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-G...

Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-Gharafa SC Stadium, in Doha, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Having scored the winning goal for the United States against Iran, Christian Pulisic watched the final minutes from a hospital on a mobile phone.

“They were checking my blood sugar and everything and it was flying through the roof,” the U.S. star recalled Thursday, “but it wasn’t because of anything. It was just me stressed watching the game. But once I got through that and the final whistle blew, I was obviously very happy.”

Pulisic hopes to play against the Netherlands in the round of 16 at the World Cup on Saturday after bruising his pelvic bone when he collided with goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand while scoring in the 38th minute of the Americans’ 1-0 win Tuesday.

“I will do everything in my power to work with this medical team and make sure that I can play,” he said during a news conference, sitting next to teammate Tim Weah.

Pulisic said he took a knee to the pelvic bone and not the genitals.

“It was very painful,” he recalled. “That bone is there for a reason, to protect you, I think, I hit it well. It was sore, but like I said, I’m getting better.”

Pulisic was down on the field for about three minutes before he re-entered the game and finished the first half. He was replaced by Brenden Aaronson at the start of the second half and was taken to Hamad General Hospital, accompanied by athletic trainer Harris Patel.

“This team helps me so much to take the pressure off of me,” Pulisic said. “A couple of years ago, there were times where maybe I felt like I needed to do more. But with these guys I don’t feel that way at all, to be honest. I know they have my back.”

If the U.S. beats the Netherlands, they would reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002 and face Argentina or Australia. Players realize each of their games has been viewed by 10 million to 20 million on U.S. television.

“I hope that they can see just the unity and the team spirit that we display. I hope that what’s helping us gain fans,” Pulisic said.

“You can see all the individual talent — we have guys playing at top clubs across the world, but without the brotherhood, without this family aspect, we wouldn’t be in this position,” he added.

Pulisic and Tim Weah were asked by a Dutch reporter how big the World Cup was for people in the U.S.

“It’s the biggest sport now,” said Weah, a son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberia President George Weah. “We’re on a stage and it’s our job to make sure they know that this is sport we play, and I think everyone back home is realizing the team has talent.”

Pulisic downplayed comparisons between his goal against Iran and Landon Donovan’s iconic moment, an injury-time goal against Algeria in 2010 that advanced the Americans to the knockout stage.

“I’m hoping I haven’t had that moment yet, to be honest,” Pulisic said. “I’m hoping it’s in front of me.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Forward Josh Sargent has right ankle soreness after a challenge late in the second half against Iran.

OLD FRIENDS

A Dutch reporter reminded Pulisic that before he signed with Borussia Dortmund in 2015 at age 16, he trained at PSV Eindhoven with Cody Gakpo, a forward on the Netherlands national team who has scored three goals at the World Cup.

“Oh, wow. I never put that together,” Pulisic said.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Texas interim coach Rodney Terry signals to players during the first half of the team's NCAA colleg...
Associated Press

Rodney Terry constantly auditioning as Texas interim coach

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Every game the Texas Longhorns play feels like an audition for interim coach Rodney Terry. At some point, the school must decide if he deserves a callback. What would that take? A Big 12 championship? A deep run into the NCAA Tournament? Texas hasn’t won the league’s regular-season title or made […]
1 day ago
FILE - Carolina Panthers' Steve Wilks warms up wearing a T-shirt in support of Buffalo Bills player...
Associated Press

Wilks ‘disappointed, not defeated’ over Panthers snub

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks is “disappointed, but not defeated” that he didn’t land the team’s full-time head coaching position. The Panthers announced on Thursday they’ve agreed to hire Frank Reich as their new head coach. “The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Ja...
Associated Press

4 of NFL’s best TEs on display in conference title games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — When Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes headed up the tunnel inside Arrowhead Stadium to have X-rays taken on his sprained right ankle, and Chad Henne trotted onto the field in the second quarter of their divisional playoff game against Jacksonville, it was obvious who the backup quarterback was going to target. […]
1 day ago
Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson (11) shoots under pressure from Kansas forward K.J. Adams Jr....
Associated Press

Keyontae Johnson at No. 5 K-State to face ex-Gator teammates

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — There are still a handful of players left at Florida who remember the exact moment, during a timeout against rival Florida State more than two years ago, that Keyontae Johnson collapsed to the floor and time seemed to stand still. Johnson was loaded onto a stretcher, taken to the hospital and […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ireland head coach Andy Farrell watches his players warm-up ahead of the rugby international...
Associated Press

6 Nations: France, Ireland set for duel under Netflix glare

Rugby’s oldest championship is getting a modern twist with the Netflix streaming service being given a behind-the-scenes look at the 2023 Six Nations for a docuseries released next year. It should help to broaden the sport’s appeal, driving more interest in the United States especially ahead of the country hosting a Rugby World Cup for […]
1 day ago
FILE - Oklahoma City Thunder's Chet Holmgren (7) drives against Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith II du...
Associated Press

Analysis: It may be time to re-think NBA All-Star voting

It’s reasonable to think Chet Holmgren will be an NBA All-Star one day. He was a highly recruited high school player whose one year at Gonzaga was stellar enough for Oklahoma City to make him the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. He’s an obvious talent, an enormous talent. And it’s terrible that Holmgren […]
1 day ago
Hurt on goal, Pulisic hopes to face Netherlands at World Cup