USWNT, NJ/NY Gotham FC forward Midge Purce to miss season with torn ACL

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USWNT and NJ/NY Gotham FC forward Midge Purce will undergo surgery for a torn ACL, the player and her club announced Wednesday.

“It’s a reality I’m still struggling with and has left me with not too much to say,” Purce wrote on social media.

The season-ending injury happened during Gotham’s season opener against the Portland Thorns on Sunday. Purce left the game just prior to the end of the first half after repeated blows to her knee.

“I’m heartbroken to no longer be available for my season with Gotham FC or for Olympic selection with the USWNT — know I’m rooting for you both all year long,” Purce said. “Though you may not see it, I’ll be doing everything I can to get back on the field.”

Purce, who was left off the World Cup roster last year, was a strong hopeful for Emma Hayes’ Olympics squad this summer. She recently helped lead the USWNT to the team’s first CONCACAF W Gold Cup title earlier this month, in the event’s inaugural year in San Diego.

Losing Purce is a major blow for the reigning NWSL champions. The 28-year-old was crowned NWSL Championship MVP last year when Gotham FC secured its first league title. The squad has also recently been without other veterans like Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams, who were absent from Gotham’s lineup on Sunday due to injuries.

Gotham was motivated to win its NWSL season opener for the veteran forward, the team’s coach Juan Carlos Amorós told reporters after the game.

“The players, myself, the staff, we wanted to win after that happened for her,” he said.

Amorós has been vocal for weeks about his concerns that player welfare is being negatively affected by a crowded competition calendar. This preseason, Gotham was without seven of its players who were called up for Gold Cup action.

“We’re talking about protecting the players,” Amorós said. “(Players should not) go to play an international competition after one week of preseason. We’re seeing the consequences now. We got Rose, Lynn (injured). Last week, I think it was Debinha in Kansas (City). Now we have Midge. And these players, unfortunately, for my experience, the clubs are gonna keep paying (the cost) for that competition. Unfortunately, in this case, it was Midge.”

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(Photo: Vincent Carchietta / USA Today)

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