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Berhalter ‘hopeful’ on Pulisic fitness for World Cup last 16

United States coach Gregg Berhalter is “hopeful” Christian Pulisic will be fit to face the Netherlands in Saturday’s World Cup last-16 clash but striker Josh Sargent remains a fitness doubt.

Chelsea star Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion following a heavy collision while scoring the winning goal in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Iran.

The 24-year-old was subsequently substituted and went to hospital following the game for tests.

Berhalter said Pulisic was on the mend and would be tested later Friday during training.

“Regarding Christian, we’re going to see him on the training field today,” Berhalter told a news conference on Friday. 

“It looks pretty good, but we’ll have to see him on the pitch to get confirmation of that.”

However, there remain concerns over Norwich striker Sargent, who also picked up a knock in the win over Iran.

“With Christian we’re hopeful, with (Josh) a little less so,” Berhalter said. 

“But we’ll see. At this stage of the tournament it’s go time. If you can push through it, you do. I’m sure he’ll have that mindset.”

The United States advanced to Saturday’s second round meeting at the Al Khalifa Stadium after finishing second behind England in Group B.

Captain Tyler Adams said the American squad had been energised by the support at home, where record numbers of viewers have tuned into the USA’s games in Qatar.

“The support from the US has been surreal — it’s really cool to see how much a tournament can change the perspective of people watching soccer,” Adams said. 

“That was one of our goals coming into the tournament. The further we go, the more support we gather. We want the next generations to come to have that support. 

“When we can play an attractive style, and fight and represent the country in the right way, you’re going to gather that support.”

Berhalter said the US squad had “felt a responsibility to use this World Cup to create momentum in the United States for soccer”.

“That’s why we want to keep going and do well and make the country proud,” he added.

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