USMNT’s Christian Pulisic misses World Cup warmup game vs. Japan with injury
DÜSSELDORF, Germany - Christian Pulisic did not dress for the United States' match against Japan on Friday in Germany because of an unspecified injury and missed the Americans' next-to-last warmup before the World Cup.
The U.S. Soccer Federation said Pulisic was out "because of a knock he took in training earlier this week." The USSF said it was too soon to determine whether he will be available for Tuesday's friendly against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.
Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson and Zack Steffen also were not in the squad because of injuries. Miles Robinson will miss the World Cup because of a torn Achilles.
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Gio Reyna was in the starting lineup for the first time for the U.S. since the opening World Cup qualifier at El Salvador on Sept. 2, 2021. The 19-year-old Reyna injured a hamstring in that match, leading to repeated recurrences that wrecked his 2021-22 season. Reyna wore jersey No. 21, the number his father, former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, wore 42 times.
Matt Turner was in goal, Sergiño Dest at right back, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long partnered at central defender for the 10th time and Sam Vines was at left back. Tyler Adams was in central midfield, Weston McKennie and Luca de la Torre in central midfield, Reyna and Brenden Aaronson on the wings and Jesús Ferreira at forward.
Because of injuries and suspensions, Pulisic, Adams and McKennie have started together only four times: a 2019 friendly against Ecuador, World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Canada in January, and a June friendly against Uruguay.
Turner started eight of 14 qualifiers, with Steffen in goal for the rest.
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Vines was making only its ninth international appearance, his first since Aug. 1, 2021. Dest was playing for the U.S. for the first time since the Jan. 30 qualifier at Canada.
Zimmerman captained the Americans for the sixth time.
The Americans, back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, open against Wales on Nov. 21, play England four days later and close the first round against Iran on Nov. 29.
Japan, preparing for its seventh straight World Cup, opens against Germany on Nov. 23, meets Costa Rica four days later and closes group play against Japan on Dec. 1.
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Japan started Shūichi Gonda in goal, Hiroki Sakai at right back, Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu at center back and Yuta Nakayama at left back.
Wataru Endo was in defensive midfield, Hidemasa Morita and Takefusa Kubo in central midfield, Junya Ito and Daichi Kamada on the wings, and Daizen Maeda headed the attack.