Some folks’ worst fears have been realized. U.S. Soccer announced Ali Krieger tore both her MCL and ACL in a challenge that occurred in last night’s match versus the Dominican Republic. According to the release, “[Krieger] will likely miss the London Olympic Games should the USA qualify.”
Krieger was one of the standout players from this summer’s World Cup, and was arguably the tournament’s finest right-back. The 27-year-old’s accurate passing and defensive prowess made her an indispensable asset to the USWNT in Germany. The FFC Frankfurt defender had made marked progress since returning to the USWNT set-up in 2010 following a two-year absence.
The loss of Krieger could have major impact on the USWNT, especially when considering possible replacements. Heather Mitts is the only natural right-back in the squad. The USWNT veteran will turn 34 on June 9. Should Pia Sundhage elect to convert other defenders to right-back, Whitney Engen, Becky Sauerbrunn, Stephanie Cox, and Brittany Taylor spring to mind as possible options.
Regardless of the player picked to fill the void, Krieger’s absence will likely not be forgotten.