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The United States women’s national team will be down a significant member of its squad for the 2023 World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand.
USWNT defender and captain Becky Sauerbrunn will miss the World Cup while continuing to rehab from a foot injury, according to The Athletic’s Meg Linehan and Steph Yang.
Sauerbrunn confirmed the report on Friday night in a social media statement:
Sauerbrunn suffered a foot injury in April and didn’t return to her National Women’s Soccer League club, the Portland Thorns, until a June 3 win over OL Reign when she entered as a second-half substitution.
However, Sauerbrunn then missed Portland’s June 11 loss to the Orlando Pride, putting her status moving forward into question.
The 38-year-old has played for the U.S. national team since 2011, helping the Americans win gold at the 2012 Olympics and World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019. Additionally, the USWNT has won three Concacaf women’s championships and five SheBelieves Cups in that span.
With Sauerbrunn will be sidelined for the 2023 World Cup, the USWNT’s defense could be spread a little thin. While no roster has been announced, the defense could be highlighted by Crystal Dunn, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, Sofia Huerta and Naomi Girma.
According to The Athletic, O’Hara, goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury and midfielder Savannah DeMelo are expected to be included on the roster.
The United States opens the World Cup in Group E action on July 21 against Vietnam at Eden Park in Auckland. The Americans will also face the Netherlands and Portugal in the group stage.