CanWNT: Erin McLeod suffers ACL injury


Team Canada may be scrambling to find a solid number one in-goal before the Olympics after star goalkeeper Erin McLeod suffered a knee injury earlier this week

With roughly five months until the summer Olympics, Canada Women’s National Team faces a pretty big decision after their goalkeeper Erin McLeod got injured on Wednesday playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final for FC Rosengard. Rosengard went on to lose 1-0 to FFC Frankfurt, but the big question now is: what’s next for Erin McLeod?

Just 10 minutes into the match, McLeod went down in obvious agony after taking a goal kick. For a while, plenty wondered what the fate was for the beloved stopper before Sporting director Therese Sjögran released to Sydsvenskan (a daily newspaper from Scania, Sweden) that McLeod has “a cruciate injury,” that she indicated was “serious”. It was released on Thursday night that McLeod indeed suffered a partial tear in her anterior cruciate ligament. Whether McLeod will have surgery or not is still undetermined. Sjögran added in her report to Sydsvenskan that “nothing has been decided yet,” and that the public would have to await the 33-year-old goalkeeper’s decision until “after the Easter weekend.”

McLeod has a history with knee injuries after already having two surgeries to repair her ACL. Her most recent knee injury occurred after a scare during the final of an international tournament in Brazil on December 20 where McLeod fell awkwardly on her right leg after colliding with Brazilian star Marta Vieira da Silva. Initially reported to be serious, the injury resulted in a bone bruise. With this injury, McLeod’s training was reduced and she missed the final in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship where Canada lost to the United States Women’s National Team.

With McLeod having been expected to be number one in the goal for Canada this summer, this news is a huge blow for their team. Come August, they’re going to be without their goalkeeper even if she decides to take the surgery route. Personally, I’ve never heard of anyone bouncing back from an ACL surgery in less than six months. With it only being partially torn, there’s a chance she might be able to recover quicker, but in reality she isn’t going to be thrown into playing in the Olympics without having trained with the team and without having any sort of practice other than physical therapy. It’s just not something that fans are going to see from McLeod this summer. McLeod has earned 115 caps with the CanWNT and recently skipped out on the Algarve Cup to play for Rosengard.

Thursday, the goalkeeper tweeted her gratitude towards her fans’ support, but left it as vague as possible without any elaboration:

On Friday, her wife Ella Masar McLeod posted a photo on Instagram of the couple together in a car, Erin looking rather sad out of the window, and a caption that hinted at the fact that it’s more likely than not that the star goalkeeper will be receiving the surgery and playing again in the future:

The caption reads: “There is 3 things everyone needs to know: 1) Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your incredible support and love over the last two days. 2) My wife is the most inspirational, hard working, and driven athlete I know 3) two McLeod’s will be together, on the pitch, AGAIN…”

It’s very likely that McLeod will come back stronger after a surgery, it’s seen all the time and it’s arguable that the hardest thing about bouncing back is the mental part of it all. A move that she has done almost every day of her life for over 20 years and all of a sudden her knee goes caput. It could easily be a constant inner battle of “I used to trust you, but then you failed me,” for the goalkeeper. It’s also seen that plenty of people can’t bounce back from it., however, if she does get the surgery it’s also a possibility that UEFA clubs will be leery on signing an injured player and she will once again have to prove herself by playing for the NWSL or her national team to fulfill her dream of playing for the league. If she doesn’t get the surgery, the next step for McLeod will probably be retirement, but after Ella’s post I think it’s pretty clear what decision will be made after the Easter weekend.

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Right now, I suppose it’s all in the air, but I’m sure we all could band together and agree that we wish the best for McLeod and hope for a speedy healing process.