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Jamaica v United States

USMNT boss Berhalter: Pulisic's status up in the air for Jamaica clash

23:31 EAT 15/11/2021
Christian Pulisic USMNT Mexico 2021
The Chelsea forward's health is being monitored closely

Gregg Berhalter says Christian Pulisic's status will come down to a "judgement call" ahead of the U.S. men's national team's match against Jamaica on Tuesday.

Pulisic came off the bench to score a winner for the U.S. against Mexico late last week despite having only played limited minutes recently after missing time due to an ankle injury.

At the start of camp, Berhalter said he intended to take it easy with Pulisic, who isn't quite at full fitness, and the USMNT boss reiterated that point on Monday when asked if the Chelsea star could start on Tuesday.

What was said?

"It comes down to a judgment call," Berhalter said. "It comes down to how we feel he can best affect the opponent.

"We could have started him against Mexico, but we didn't want to start him against Mexico because we knew that he couldn't go the full 90. So it's going to be a similar type of question that we have to ask for this game.

"If we do start him, how much time can he play and what does that look like for the game and getting the result of the game?

"For us, it's still up in the air, but what I'd say is that he's come along really well after the game. He trained yesterday and will be in full training today so we'll see."

The big picture

Even if Pulisic isn't deemed available to start on Tuesday, Berhalter has no shortage of options in the attack.

With phenom Ricardo Pepi expected to start up top, Berhalter could again turn towards Timothy Weah and Brenden Aaronson on the wing with both in spectacular form with the U.S.

He could also start a veteran in Paul Arriola, while Jesus Ferreira performed well in his late cameo against Mexico to emerge as another attacking option.

Berhalter will be forced into making two changes, with Weston McKennie and Miles Robinson both suspended for the Jamaica match.

The USMNT boss earmarked Sebastian Lletget, Gianluca Busio and Kellyn Acosta as the trio competing for McKennie's midfield spot, while Chris Richards or Mark McKenzie will start alongside Walker Zimmerman in the defense.

Berhalter did confirm one starter on Monday in Zack Steffen, who will remain in goal after being selected to start against Mexico ahead of Matt Turner.

Further reading