DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Christian Pulisic did not dress for the United States’ game against Japan on Friday in Germany due to an unspecified injury and missed the Americans’ penultimate warm-up game before the World Cup.
The United States Soccer Federation said Pulisic was out “due to a knock he received in training earlier this week”. The USSF said it was too early to determine if he will be available for Tuesday’s friendly match against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.
Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson and Zack Steffen were also not in the squad due to injuries. Miles Robinson will miss the World Cup with a torn Achilles.
Gio Reyna was in the starting lineup for the first time for the United States since the World Cup qualifiers opened in El Salvador on September 2, 2021. Reyna, 19, suffered a hamstring injury during of that match, leading to repeated recurrences that destroyed his 2021-22 season. Reyna wore jersey No. 21, the number her father, former United States captain Claudio Reyna, wore 42 times.
Matt Turner was in goal, Sergiño Dest at right-back, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long at centre-back and Sam Vines at right-back. Tyler Adams was in central midfield, Weston McKennie and Luca de la Torre in central midfield, Reyna and Brenden Aaronson on the wings and Jesús Ferreira up front.
Due to injuries and suspensions, Pulisic, Adams and McKennie have only started together four times: a friendly against Ecuador in 2019, World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Canada in January and a game friendly against Uruguay in June.
Turner started eight of 14 qualifiers, with Steffen in goal for the rest.
Vines is only making his ninth international appearance, his first since Aug. 1, 2021. Dest is playing for the United States for the first time since the Jan. 30 qualifier in Canada.
Zimmerman captained the Americans for the sixth time.
The Americans, back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, open against Wales on November 21, face England four days later and close out the first round against Iran on November 29.
Japan, preparing for their seventh consecutive World Cup, will start against Germany on November 23, meet Costa Rica four days later and close out the group game against Japan on December 1.
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