8:53 AM PT — The US men’s soccer team is headed back to the USA, losing to the Netherlands 3-1 at the World Cup and failing to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.
Christian Pulisic made his triumphant return to the field Saturday … this after the US soccer star was seriously injured while scoring the winning goal against Iran in the USMNT’s previous World Cup game.
Pulisic didn’t seem too hobbled as the US started playing against the Netherlands during its round-of-16 matchup in Qatar. Christian seemed spry and aggressive, but he missed a few opportunities to put some goals on the board. At half time, the Netherlands has already taken a 2-0 lead over the US after scoring right before the halftime whistle.
As we reported, Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion Tuesday after crashing into the goalie as he scored the game-winner against Iran, propelling the US to a 1-0 victory. Initially, the word was he had suffered a groin injury … but he later clarified“I didn’t get hit in the balls. I’m alright. It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason to protect you and I hit it well. I was sore.”
Pulisic — known as captain america for his team leadership — sent Iran home from the tournament by scoring the goal, but he was in too much pain to celebrate in the moment.
He told reporters Thursday … “I realized the ball went in. I was a bit confused because the guys around me — I think they were just trying to keep a distance and make sure I was OK. But it didn’t really feel like a celebration, so I was worried about offsides… You never know nowadays, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. But I mean, I knew it went in.”
Christian also posted to snapchat of himself smiling in a hospital bed after suffering the injury with a caption … “So f—ing proud of my guys I’ll be ready Saturday.”