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Have You Seen This? Pulisic's reaction to US win is what we love about sports


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ADVANCING โ€” Christian Pulisic has long been viewed as the poster child of U.S. Soccer's "golden generation," a rising star on the United States men's national team that failed to qualify for the World Cup in a disastrous campaign in 2018 to one of the key leaders on a group that made it back for Qatar in 2022.

He may have cemented himself as a U.S. legend on Tuesday.

Pulisic put it all on the line in the United States' 1-0 win over the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Americans' final match of Group B play, clinching a spot in the Round of 16 with the team's first win of the tournament.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania, native who plays professionally at Chelsea scored the only goal of the match for the United States in the 38th minute but had to watch the post-match celebrations from a hospital bed after leaving with what U.S. Soccer called an abdominal injury.

We're no doctor, but the collision between Pulisic and the Iranian goalkeeper after scoring his goal looks, uhhh ... painful. Abdominal injury or something deeper, the 24-year-old attacker put his body โ€” and possibly his future posterity โ€” on the line with a sliding finish from Sergiรฑo Dest in the 38th minute.

Of course, credit also goes to U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner and his defense for making the Yanks' 1-0 lead stand up. It was a gutsy performance, to say the least, after the goal, as well.

Pulisic was down for a lengthy period of time in the first half, exited with the team medical staff for several minutes, and returned to try to play through it. But after visibly grimacing several times at the injury, he was helped into the locker room and replaced by Brenden Aaronson at halftime.

U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter did not have an update on Pulisic's status moving forward after the match. But within moments, Pulisic posted on social media an update that included him sitting in a hospital bed in Qatar.

"So (expletive) proud of my guys," Pulisic wrote. "I'll be ready Saturday, don't worry."

Call him Captain America. Call him U.S. Soccer's wonder boy of a golden generation. But whatever you choose, don't call Pulisic a player without heart.

"Obviously, we're very thankful that he threw his body there," U.S. teammate Weston McKennie said. "At the end, it was a heart-drop sinking moment, but we got it done and we're excited to still be here."

The United States will open the Round of 16 against the Netherlands at 8 a.m. MST Saturday (FOX).

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A proud graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Walker has covered BYU for KSL.com since 2015, while also mixing in prep sports, education, and anything else his editors assign him to do.

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