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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Pulisic status to be determined ahead of USMNT’s clash with Canada

The Chelsea star will undergo one final fitness test as he nears a return from Covid-19

U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter says Christian Pulisic’s status for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Canada remains uncertain while also revealing that Zack Steffen will miss out once again with a back issue.

Pulisic and Steffen missed out on Thursday’s World Cup qualifying opener against El Salvador, which ended in a scoreless draw, with the former still recovering after testing positive for Covid-19 on August 20.

With Steffen out, Matt Turner looks set to start again for the USMNT, who will be awaiting one final update on Pulisic’s status before making a decision.

What was said?

“Christian is going to have another evaluation today,” Berhalter said Saturday evening. “He’s made some progress, and we have to see if it’s enough to actually include him in the gameday squad and play.

“Zack is going to remain out for the game.”

Berhalter went on to discuss Pulisic’s status as the Chelsea star continues to rebuild his fitness after battling Covid-19.

Pulisic tested negative before flying from London to the U.S. for qualifiers but is still building his body back up after missing time with Chelsea.

“We’ve been getting him up to speed with training,” Berhalter added. “We’re trying to see what he can tolerate, see what type of workloads he can do and I think that’s the first step.

“To be out for 10 days and have Covid isn’t the easiest thing to get over, so, for us, it’s about really seeing how he can come back in a safe way. That’s the most important thing.

“When we’ve been having conversations, we’ve been asking him about how he’s tolerating loads and everything, so we’ll see if he’s ready.”

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