The USMNT is set to face a big challenge on Thursday as it takes on El Salvador to open World Cup qualifying. Aside from being an away match, the team will also be facing a test as its best player will be missing from the lineup.
According to Steven Goff, Pulisic did not travel with the team and is staying stateside for the match. However, he may be available on Sunday against Canada in Nashville.
Christian Pulisic, who joined USMNT this week in Nashville after recovering from coronavirus, didn't accompany group to El Salvador today for World Cup qualifying opener Thu, USSF says. No other details until later today. Next possible chance to play is Sun v Canada in Nashville.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) September 1, 2021
Obviously, Pulisic missed time with Chelsea recently after testing positive for the Coronavirus. The fact that he joined the team at all at least indicates that he was planning to be able to play but perhaps was not 100% fit as the team got set to depart for San Salvador. While Goff mentions that Pulisic could be available for the Canada match, that isn’t guaranteed as recovery time from Covid is unpredictable.
At the very least, the team has depth in the attack and Pulisic missing time gives a chance for a player further down the roster to impress.