USWNT central defender has played sparingly since April

By Official Florida FC

Becky Sauerbrunn will not have a chance to lead the U.S. women’s soccer team onto the pitch next month in Auckland.

She will miss the Women’s World Cup with a foot injury. Meg Linehan at The Athletic broke the news on Friday afternoon.

Sauerbrunn confirmed it in a heartbreaking social media post where she wrote that she will be at home working to get back onto the field as quickly as possible.

“It’s been an honor to work and play alongside this incredible group of athletes. They have my unwavering support. And, more importantly, they have my unyielding belief. This program has always been about the collective and I have no doubt that the (23) players on the final roster have everything they need – in their feet, their heads and their hearts – to bring our fifth trophy home.”

For an athlete who turned 38 this month, the injury may close the curtain on her presence on soccer’s biggest stages. It’s possible she returns to the program and contributes at next year’s Olympics. But, that would be asking a lot for someone who is a decade older than most of the other USWNT options at central defender.

Sauerbrunn’s injury isn’t a Florida soccer story. But, the captain of the U.S. national team announcing they will not compete in the World Cup that kicks off in less than six weeks is something that will always be on our radar.

The USWNT has had iconic captains in its history: Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were co-captains ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Christine Rampone lifted the trophy after the USWNT won the 2015 World Cup and when they lost in penalties in 2011. Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, Carla Overbeck, April Heinrichs have captained the team into the World Cup.

It’s a shame that Sauerbrunn will not join that exclusive club. Her absence makes it more difficult to envision that whoever captains the USWNT into the 2023 World Cup will return from the South Pacific with the trophy.