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Christian Pulisic

USMNT drop Pulisic to bench for World Cup qualifier against Honduras

08:00 GMT+3 03/02/2022
Christian Pulisic USMNT
The Chelsea star did not carry a reported injury entering the match

Christian Pulisic has been dropped to the bench along with full back Sergino Dest for the United States men's national team's World Cup qualifier against Honduras on Wednesday.

Pulisic started the USMNT's previous two games this international window but struggled to make an impact.

Attacker Jordan Morris was named in the first-team for Wednesday for his first start in World Cup qualifying since 2017 with Cannon brought in to replace Dest in the starting XI.

Is Pulisic injured?

There was no announcement before the game that Pulisic was carrying a knock, though he has dealt with an ankle problem this year.

Asked to clarify the situation after the game, manager Gregg Berhalter said: "I felt it was a decision that was made to put him in the best possible position to make the impact that we know he can make.

"You know, it's never easy. When you're a player, high profile player, and you're not in the form of your life, and that those things are very hard to always capture, especially when you're a club like Chelsea, but he's a guy that means a heck of a lot to this team. He's one of the top performance team over this stretch of time, and he's going to be a huge contributor to what we do moving forward. That's for sure."

Was Pulisic used off the bench?

Pulisic came on in the 64th minute as a substitute, replacing Morris, and scored the USMNT's third goal moments later.

The bigger picture

It's been a frustrating few months for Pulisic, who has been used at wing-back when he plays for Chelsea and has not managed to find his top form for the USMNT.

However, his compatriots still have his back.

"All of us have had our ups and downs, all of us have had difficult times, and the most important thing is that we're there for each other and obviously, with the situation that [Pulisic] is in, maybe the amount of playing time that's involved, it's just catching his footing again and building his confidence," said midfielder Weston McKennie this week.

"I think, in general, he is still an important piece because he's one of those types of players that might have one spark in a game, he could maybe not do anything all game, and then have one spark. He's one of the players that are very unpredictable to the opponents and I think he's just someone that adds another type of dangerous and one-on-one ability in the final third."

CONCACAF table

Below is the CONCACAF table entering Wednesday's slate of matches. It will be updated after all matches on Wednesday are completed.

Team

GD

Points

Canada

+14

25

United States

+9

21

Mexico

+6

21

Panama

+1

17

Costa Rica

1

16

Jamaica

-7

9

El Salvador

-7

7

Honduras

-17

3

Further reading