Christian Pulisic Out With Injury After Giving U.S. 1-0 Lead Over Iran
U.S. Men’s Player Will Depart with Torn ACR
By Michael Lewis
01.26.19 8:10 AM ET
With his teammates on the sideline, including goalkeeper Tim Howard, and the American coaching staff watching from behind the goalposts, the U.S. national team’s leading scorer found himself alone on the pitch with his head down against Iran in a match that will go down in U.S. soccer history.
The United States had been in control of proceedings throughout the first half, and in the 54th minute Iran’s Vahid Halilhodzic had seen a curling right-footed shot saved by goalkeeper John Kowalski. Halilhodzic was down and had to be carried off at the 46 second mark.
With their captain gone, the United States took the lead in the 69th minute when Christian Pulisic curled a cross past goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand. The goal kick was taken by Pulisic, who was later ruled out with a concussion and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
“It’s frustrating. We’re so close,” Pulisic said. “It’s difficult to watch, but when you score a goal and you’re not able to keep a clean sheet, it’s difficult to watch that.”
There was a chance for a miraculous goal, but Pulisic’s injury would turn out to be the worst result for any U.S. player in the history of the program – which included U.S. Men’s National Team players in goal (Tim Howard) and on the field in defense (Steve Cherundolo Jr. and Brad Evans).
At the time of his injury, Pulisic was second on the U.S. scoring chart, at 26 goals, with four assists.
“He’s one of the best players in our world. He’s probably the best player on the U.S. team,” U.