Pulisic determined to feature in World Cup knockout tie | news | official site

Ahead of the USA’s World Cup knockout clash against the Netherlands on Saturday, Christian Pulisic has provided an update on his fitness and the likelihood of him featuring in the last-16 tie.

The 24-year-old scored the only goal of the game as the United States beat Iran 1-0 in their final group game to secure their place in the knockout round.

However, he was forced off the field shortly afterwards having taken a heavy hit in the process of netting.

That injury has thrown his availability for the next round into doubt but Pulisic insists he will do everything he can to play a part.

‘It was very painful,’ he said of the injury at a US press conference. ‘that [pelvic] bone is there for a reason, to protect you, but I hit it well!

‘It was sore but it’s getting better. I’m just kind of seeing how I’m feeling, taking it day by day.

‘Right now I’m doing everything in my power to be able to be out there on the field on Saturday.’

While he remains a talismanic figure for Gregg Berhalter’s side and a key player in their quest to reach the quarter-finals, Pulisic also believes his team-mates have the quality to step up even if he can’t feature against the Dutch.

‘This team helps me so much to take the pressure off of me,’ he added. ‘A couple of years ago, there were times maybe I felt like I needed to do more but with these guys, I don’t feel that way at all

‘I know they have my back. I know when I went down and I see Brenden Aaronson running on to the pitch, I’m not worried at all because I know these guys.

‘You see the talent. You see the work that they put in and just the unity of this group is what makes it special and takes any pressure that there might be off of me. They know that I got their back and they have got mine.’

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