Pulisic to miss US World Cup preparations against Japan due to injury

Christian Pulisic exercises during a training session for the American football team in Cologne, Germany, prior to a friendly match against Japan, Thursday, September 22, 2022. The United States will play Japan in a friendly soccer match as part of the Keren Challenge Cup.  To prepare for the Qatar World Cup in Dusseldorf on Friday.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Christian Pulisic exercises during a training session for the American football team in Cologne, Germany, prior to a friendly match against Japan, Thursday, September 22, 2022. The United States will play Japan in a friendly soccer match as part of the Keren Challenge Cup. To prepare for the Qatar World Cup in Dusseldorf on Friday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

AP

Christian Pulisic was not dressed for Friday’s USA-Japan match in Germany due to an unspecified injury and missed the Americans’ penultimate friendly match before the World Cup.

The NFL said Pulisic missed “due to a blow he received in training earlier this week.” The Soviet Union said it was too early to say whether he would be available for Tuesday’s friendly match against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.

Tim Weah, Younes Moussa, Chris Richards, Anthony Robinson and Zach Stephen were not in the squad due to injuries. Miles Robinson will miss the World Cup with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Gio Reina was in the starting line-up for the first time for the United States since the opening World Cup qualifiers in El Salvador on September 2, 2021. The 19-year-old injured her hamstring in that match, causing her to recur frequently. Its 2021-22 season. Reina has worn the number 21 jersey, the number his father, former United States captain Claudio Reina, has worn 42 times.

Matt Turner was in goal, Serginho Dest at right back, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long at center back for the 10th time and Sam Vines at left back. Tyler Adams was in midfield, Weston McKinney and Luca de la Torre in midfield, Reina and Brendan Aaronson on the wings and Jesus Ferreira in attack.

Due to injuries and suspensions, Pulisic, Adams and McKinney started together only four times: a 2019 friendly match against Ecuador, World Cup qualifier matches against Honduras and Canada in January, and a friendly match in June against Uruguay.

Turner started eight of the 14 playoffs, with Stephen in goal for the rest.

Vines was only making his ninth appearance internationally, his first since August 1, 2021. Dest was playing for the United States for the first time since the January 30 qualifiers in Canada.

Zimmerman is captain of the Americans for the sixth time.

The Americans, who returned to the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition, opened against Wales on November 21, play England four days later and close out the first round against Iran on November 29.

Japan, preparing for the World Cup for the seventh time in a row, will open against Germany on November 23, meet Costa Rica four days later and conclude the group match against Spain on December 1.

Japan started scoring Shuichi Gonda in goal, Hiroki Sakai at right back, Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu at central defense, and Yuta Nakayama at left back.

Wataru Endo was in the defensive midfield, Hidmasa Morita and Takefusa Kubo in the midfield, Junya Ito and Daichi Kamada on the wings, and Daisen Maeda as the attacking header.

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This story was originally published September 23, 2022 7:54 am.

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