USMNT’s Christian Pulisic misses World Cup warm-up match against Japan through injury

FILE- Christian Pulisic #10 of the United States during the warm up before a game between Uruguay and USMNT at Children’s Mercy Park on June 5, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic did not change clothes for Friday’s game against Japan in Germany due to an unspecified injury and missed the Americans’ penultimate warm-up before the World Cup.

The US Football Association said Pulisic was out “because of a blow he sustained in practice earlier this week.” The USSF said it was too early to determine if he would be available for Tuesday’s friendly 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 tendon.

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Gio Reyna started for the USA for the first time since the opening World Cup qualifier in El Salvador on September 2, 2021. 19-year-old Reyna injured a hamstring in that game, leading to repeated relapses that wrecked his 2021-22 season. Reyna wore the No. 21 jersey, the number his 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 played together at center back for the tenth time and Sam Vines was at left 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 in forward.

Due to injuries and suspensions, Pulisic, Adams and McKennie have only started together four times: a 2019 friendly against Ecuador, World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Canada in January and a friendly against Uruguay in June.

Turner started eight of 14 qualifiers, with Steffen in goal for the rest.

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Vines made only his ninth international appearance, his first since August 1, 2021. Dest played for the United States for the first time since the January 30 qualifier in Canada.

Zimmerman captained the Americans for the sixth time.

The Americans, back at the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, open against Wales on November 21, play England four days later and conclude the first round against Iran on November 29.

Japan, preparing for their seventh consecutive World Cup, opens against Germany on November 23, meets Costa Rica four days later and concludes the group game against Japan on December 1.

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Japan started Shūichi Gonda in goal, Hiroki Sakai at right-back, Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Tomiyasu at centre-back, and Yuta Nakayama at left-back.

Wataru Endo was in defensive midfield, Hidemasa Morita and Takefusa Kubo in central midfield, Junya Ito and Daichi Kamada on the wings, and Daizen Maeda led the attack.

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