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USMNT star Pulisic to miss World Cup qualifying opener at El Salvador

USMNT star Pulisic to miss World Cup qualifying opener at El Salvador

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The 22-year-old was named to the U.S. roster but won’t be able to play Thursday’s opener in San Salvador

U.S. men’s national team star Christian Pulisic has not traveled to El Salvador ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifier, U.S. Soccer has confirmed.

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Pulisic tested positive for Covid-19 last month, setting up a race against time for him to be ready for the USMNT’s opening three World Cup qualifiers.

The Chelsea attacker won’t be able to face El Salvador but could still play against Canada on Sunday or Honduras next Wednesday.

Pulisic looks to make quick return

After his diagnosis was confirmed, Pulisic took to social media to confirm he was fully vaccinated and not experiencing any symptoms.

Pulisic was forced to isolate in London, though he was still named to the USMNT roster for their three qualifying matches.

The 22-year-old was able to travel to meet up with his teammates in Nashville, Tennessee this week, where he participated in team workouts. 

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But he was left back in Nashville as his teammates traveled to El Salvador on Wednesday.

Who could replace Pulisic?

With Pulisic out, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter could hand a start to Konrad de la Fuente, who has started well at Marseille after a summer move from Barcelona.

The U.S. is thin at the winger position, with Tim Weah forced to withdraw from the roster due to injury. Brenden Aaronson, a more natural central player, could also potentially be shifted out wide for the U.S.

Jordan Pefok, Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi are the three center forward options at Berhalter’s disposal. 

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