World Cup continues for the US. Will Christian Pulisic be part of it?
By Andrew Das
The job for the U.S. soccer team was simple, really: win.
The stakes and the stage and the politics all made things harder going into their game against Iran on Tuesday night at the World Cup. The own goal by their own federation’s social media team, the Iranians’ great umbrage at the perceived insult to their flag, the chatter and the threats and the intrigue all added to the spice of the matchup. But the task, at its heart, left no room for nuance at all: If United States wanted to keep playing in this tournament, it had to beat Iran on Tuesday night.
And so it did.
The price of victory may be a high one: Christian Pulisic, perhaps the Americans’ brightest star and the scorer of its only goal in a 1-0 victory, was forced from the game at halftime with an abdominal injury sustained when he crashed into Iran’s goalkeeper finishing his goal.
His status for the next round, a date with the Netherlands on Saturday, was unclear as the game ended.
But that will be a question for tomorrow. The United States, thanks to its win, now has one.