As the Women’s World Cup approaches, the goal is for everyone on the team to stay healthy. Unfortunately for the WNT, a key player went down in last night’s game against Japan:
CHICAGO (May 15, 2011) – U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, a member of the USA’s Olympic gold medal winning team in 2004 and 2008 who was also a member of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee with 15 minutes remaining in the match against Japan on May 14 in Columbus, Ohio.
Tarpley will be sidelined for six-to-eight months and will be replaced on the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will make a decision on the replacement in the coming days. The final rosters are not due to FIFA until 10 working days before the start of the tournament, which begins on June 26.
Tarpley had an MRI on Saturday evening that confirmed the ACL tear. Tarpley tore the ACL in the same knee at the end of the 2009 WPS season while playing with the Chicago Red Stars and had made a tremendous recovery to earn a spot on this year’s World Cup Team.
“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed, but I believe that things happen for a reason and I know that I’ll grow and learn from this,” said Tarpley. “I had a long road back to recovery after my last surgery and one of my main goals was to get myself healthy and competing at a level that would give me the opportunity to make this World Cup Team. I have had the fortunate pleasure to be on a lot of great teams but making this roster probably gave me the most satisfaction of any team I have been on. I proved to myself that I could do it. It has always been an extreme honor to be able to wear the U.S. jersey and represent my country and even though I won’t be in Germany, I will be there in spirit and cheering on the team from home. I know they are prepared and going to do great.”
The 27-year-old Tarpley has earned 125 caps for the USA (20th all on the all-time list) and has scored 32 career goals. Although she has appeared in just six international matches since her first ACL tear, she had scored two goals and was playing some of the best soccer of her career. On her resume are two monumental and historic goals for the USA. As captain of the U.S. U-19 team, she pounded home the “golden goal” for a 1-0 victory over Canada in the championship game of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup and scored in the 2004 Olympic gold medal game against Brazil, a 2-1 U.S. victory.
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in 42 days and will run from June 26-July 17 in nine German cities.
“It is sad to lose Tarp as she is a fantastic person and a great player. She will be missed on and off the field,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “But now we have to make some decisions and we will do that quickly as it’s important to have our entire roster together as we move towards the World Cup.”