U.S. lineup: Christian Pulisic begins, Jesús Ferreira makes World Cup debut

DOHA, Qatar — United States males’s nationwide staff coach Gregg Berhalter made a shocking change to his beginning lineup for Saturday’s World Cup spherical of 16 conflict with the Netherlands (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports activities App), bringing in ahead Jesús Ferreira for his first motion of the match.

In the meantime, as anticipated, Christian Pulisic was listed among the many starters, having made a restoration from the pelvic contusion harm that briefly forged some doubt over his availability.

Berhalter made the swap to Ferreira — the third pure striker on the roster — towards a Netherlands protection that has conceded solely as soon as within the match.

The choice was a shock. Ferreira, who performs for FC Dallas in MLS, kicked his heels on the bench all through the group stage.

The 5-foot-8 Ferreira is a curious alternative over towering Haji Wright to go up towards mammoth Dutch middle again Virgil van Dijk, the most effective defenders on the earth. However Ferreira isn’t a typical central striker; adept at dropping again into the midfield and mixing with teammates as attacking strikes construct up, he’ll function nearly as an attacking midfielder. 

Wright began towards the same central defender towards England — Harry Maguire — and got here on towards Group Melli instead of the injured Josh Sargent, who didn’t gown for the match. 

Ferreira scored 18 objectives for FCD final season, tied for probably the most amongst American gamers in MLS, however he hasn’t performed since Dallas was eradicated from the MLS Cup playoffs on Oct. 24.

There was nonetheless no place for Gio Reyna, because the younger Borussia Dortmund ahead needed to be content material with a spot on the bench as soon as extra.

On the again Walker Zimmerman was reintroduced after being changed by Cameron Carter-Vickers for the Iran sport, with the backline, additionally that includes 35-year-old Tim Ream, having been one of many American robust fits through the World Cup to date.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal named an unchanged lineup from his staff’s last group sport, a 2-0 victory over host nation Qatar.

That was a small shock, provided that so many members of his squad had been struggling “flu symptoms” that he cancelled a Thursday coaching session.

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Laken Litman covers school soccer, school basketball and soccer for FOX Sports activities. She beforehand wrote for Sports activities Illustrated, USA At this time and The Indianapolis Star. She is the writer of “Strong Like a Woman,” revealed in spring 2022 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX. Comply with her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer author for FOX Sports activities. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a employees author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has coated United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the writer of the FOX Sports activities Insider publication. You’ll be able to subscribe to the every day publication right here.

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