USWNT’s Purce out for Olympics, NWSL season with ACL injury

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NJ/NY Gotham FC and United States women’s national team winger Midge Purce suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury, the team confirmed on Wednesday.

Purce went down injured early in the first half of Gotham FC’s 1-0 victory over the Portland Thorns.

Stream on ESPN+: NWSL regular season games (U.S.)

She limped off the field but continued playing until just before half-time, when she fell to the ground while chasing down a loose ball on the sideline and was subbed out of the game.

In November, Purce was named MVP of the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League Championship after she assisted on both goals in Gotham’s 2-1 victory over Seattle Reign FC (then known as OL Reign).

She tallied four goals and two assists in 12 regular-season games last year. In a message posted to her social media accounts, Purce said she is “heartbroken” to not be available for selection for the Olympics, but that she has heard from people across the sport who have “consoled what, for a moment, felt inconsolable.”

Purce has made 30 appearances and scored four goals for the USWNT in a variety of roles as a winger and a fullback. Purce was on the U.S. roster for the team’s recent Concacaf W Gold Cup triumph, and she registered a pair of assists in a 5-0 group stage victory over the Dominican Republic.

Gotham FC head coach Juan Carlos Amoros has been outspoken about the Gold Cup’s disruption of the NWSL‘s preseason, and the negative effects on player welfare. Gotham was without U.S. players Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams on Sunday due to injuries.

Amoros also pointed to the recent hamstring injury for Kansas City Current and Brazil forward Debinha to further his point.

“Again, we are paying the consequences of a tournament that should have never happened,” Amoros said on Sunday when asked about Purce. “We’re talking all the time about protecting the players. The players could not go to play an international competition after one week of preseason. We’re seeing the consequences now with Rose, Lynn, last week it was Debinha, now we have Midge.

“These players, [in] my experience, the clubs are going to keep paying for that competition.”

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