Christian Pulisic was back in front of the media Thursday, addressing reporters for the first time since scoring to beat Iran in Tuesday’s Group B finale, helping the United States advance to the tournament’s knockout stage, which begins Saturday against the Netherlands at 10 AM ET.
Pulisic’s goal, the first of his already eventful World Cup career, came at a price, with the 24-year-old winger barely able to finish the first half following a dangerous collision with Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand. Pulisic, after being transported to a local hospital for further testing, was diagnosed with what the USMNT is calling a “pelvic contusion,” an injury that, while painful, shouldn’t affect his availability going forward.
Since then, much has been made of the phrasing “pelvic contusion,” which most assumed was a clever euphemism for getting kicked below the belt. However, Pulisic insists that wasn’t the case, claiming—despite video evidence to the contrary—that his privates escaped the incident unharmed.
“It’s not,” said Pulisic, denying his reproductive organs were affected in any way. “I didn’t get hit in the balls.”
In the 48 hours since his star turn in Doha, social media has churned out no shortage of phallic puns alluding to Pulisic’s heroic sacrifice, though the Hershey, Pennsylvania native would argue they aren’t an accurate portrayal of what his injury actually entailed.
“I’m alright. It was very painful,” Pulisic admitted. “But that bone is there for a reason—to protect you—and I think I hit it well.”
It’s not a particularly convincing explanation, but even if Pulisic is spinning us a yarn, it looks like he’ll be ready to roll, sore pelvis and all, for one of the biggest games in American soccer history.