Christian Pulisic scored three of the U.S. men's national team's five goals against Panama on Sunday night, with one of his celebrations particularly important to the USMNT star.
The U.S. smashed Panama 5-1 on Sunday to move one step closer to Qatar - they'll automatically qualify for this winter's tournament with anything less than a six-goal loss against Costa Rica on Wednesday.
Pulisic's hat-trick was a key part, making him a major talking point after the match, with his decision to do the worm after scoring his second proving particularly funny for his teammates but a special moment for Pulisic and one USMNT fan.
What was the Pulisic 'worm' celebration?
After scoring his second of three goals, Pulisic busted out an unusual celebration as he dropped down to do 'The Worm' - a dance move which involves wriggling one's body along the ground.
The Chelsea star's celebration didn't last long though, as he quickly leaped to his feet to greet onrushing teammates.
Why did Pulisic do the 'worm' celebration?
After the match, Pulisic explained the celebration was done to honor a USMNT fan, Mason Ogle, who the group met ahead of Sunday's match.
Ogle has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, and was recgnized as the USMNT's matchday ambassador on Sunday as the 15-year-old, who despite chemotherapy and a prosthetic knee, has continued to play with his high school soccer team.
Ogle met with the team at training ahead of the match and made a small request of Pulisic.
“I met someone really special yesterday," Pulisic said after the match. "His name was Mason, and his one request was that if I scored, he wanted to see a worm celebration. That’s what that was for.”
It was a pleasure meeting tonight's Game Ambassador Mason Ogle at yesterday's training.— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 27, 2022
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma, Mason is a massive soccer fan and despite extensive chemotherapy and a prosthetic knee, has managed to stay on the pitch with his high school soccer team. pic.twitter.com/0htn9S0Lnv
While the thought behind Pulisic's celebration touching, his execution did draw some laugher from some teammates, who weren't fully impressed with Pulisic's dance.
"I had no idea that was gonna happen," USMNT forward Jesus Ferreira said after the game. "When it happened, I was surprised but excited. I think, when you score goals, the best thing is the celebration, and he did the worm celebration, so I'll rate it like a solid eight. Can't give him a 10 because he didn't go back down.
Winger Paul Arriola added: "I probably give him a five just for flexibility. I felt like he could have been a little more flexible in his worm, but I mean, I can't do that. So who am I to judge?"