Christian Pulisic starts for USMNT in World Cup round of 16 match vs. Netherlands

DOHA, Qatar — No way Christian Pulisic would miss this.

The U.S. men's national team star is in the starting lineup for Saturday's round of 16 game against the Netherlands at the World Cup, four days after being subbed off at halftime with a pelvic contusion. The injury occurred in a full-speed collision with Iran's goalkeeper.

The move was not a surprise. Pulisic is the USMNT's best player, and has scored one of their two goals, the game-winner against Iran that sent the Americans into the knockout round. He had said Thursday he was doing "everything in my power" to play. He was cleared after going through training later that day.

U.S. forward Josh Sargent isn't able to play after injuring his ankle against Iran. This also isn't a surprise, with U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter saying Friday that, "With Christian, we’re hopeful. With (Sargent), a little less so."

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Berhalter made two changes to his lineup for the game against the Netherlands. Jesús Ferreira will make his first appearance at the World Cup, and Walker Zimmerman is back in the starting lineup after coming on as a substitute in the final group-stage game.

USA's starting lineup vs. Netherlands

Matt Turner; Sergino Dest, Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie; Christian Pulisic, Timothy Weah, Jesus Ferreira.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USA vs. Netherlands World Cup: Christian Pulisic starts for USMNT