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These Elite Footballers Will Miss The 2023 Women's World Cup Due to ACL Injuries

These Elite Footballers Will Miss The 2023 Women's World Cup Due to ACL Injuries
Kim Morrissey
By Kim Morrissey
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The 2023 Women's World Cup is right around the corner and excitement for the tournament is ramping up.

The build-up to the tournament, however, has been riddled with an ever-growing list of players who will miss the tournament due to injury.

The main culprit stopping many players from fulfilling their dream of playing in a World Cup for their country is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. Better known in the sporting world as an ACL injury.

American and Lyon player Catarina Macario is the latest prolific women's player to rule herself out of the tournament due to suffering an ACL injury.


Macario joins an ever-expanding list of players who are expected to miss the World Cup this July and August. The spate of ACL injuries have lead to calls for more research into why so many elite female footballers are suffering from this injury.

Here are some of the brilliant players who'll miss out due to ACL injuries.

Catarina Macario

Catarina Macario

Catarina Macario released a statement this week saying that she will not be 'physically' ready to compete in the 2023 World Cup taking place this summer.


USWNT player, Macario is one of the most exciting young players in the world right now. Playing a pivotal role for her club side Lyon in the 2021-22 season as they won a record eight Women's Champions League final.

The Lyon and US player hasn't played a match since June of last year. After suffering an ACL injury while playing for her club team Lyon in France.

The 23-year-old American tore the ACL in her left knee during her club side's last game of the 2021-2022 season. Which saw them beat Issy 4-0 in The Division 1 Féminine.


Mallory Swanson

Mallory Pugh

Mallory Swanson was in flying form this year for both her club and country, averaging a goal or an assist every match. The USA recorded a 2-0 victory over Ireland on the 8th of April this year.

The win however was plagued with worry as USA's leading goalscorer this year Mallory Swanson went down injured. Swanson went down injured in the 4oth minute, screaming in pain as her teammates gestures to the medical staff for help, with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

The team later confirmed that Swanson suffered a Patella tendon tear in her knee and will miss the World Cup.


Swanson will be a huge miss for the defending champions this year as she had scored in six straight matches for the United States, tying the record for the fourth-longest goal streak in the team's history.

Samantha Mewis

Sam Mewis

Another American missing the World Cup this year due to a knee injury is midfielder Samantha Mewis. Mewis has been suffering a nagging knee injury since August 2021 which she picked up during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.


She underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right knee in August 2021 and was expected to be out for up to eight weeks. 17 months on, the USA star is yet to return to the field and has announced she underwent a second surgery in January of this year.


Mewis made her debut for the national team in 2015 and since then she has worked her way into becoming a key part of the midfield for the US. By 2018 Mewis had established herself as one of the key players in the squad.

She played an instrumental role in the USA's 2019 world cup winning campaign, starting five out of the seven games and registering two goals and two assists in the tournament.


Her contributions however go way past goals and assists, she completed 43 recoveries which was ranked second overall in the tournament. Only falling behind her teammate Crystal Dunn, who registered 45 recoveries.

Beth Mead

Beth Mead

The 2022 Euro's golden boot winner and player of the tournament Beth Mead is another player set to miss the 2023 Women's World Cup. Mead who was England's 2021-22 Player of the Year suffered an ACL injury while playing for Arsenal in a 3-2 loss against Man Utd in the WSL back in November 2022.

She will be a huge loss to the 2022 Euro winners as they aim to win this year's tournament. Beth Mead was in flying form before her injury.

Enjoying an amazing year that saw her net 20 goals in just 19 matches. Breaking Jimmy Greave's longstanding record for most goals in one season for England along the way.

Leah Williamson

Leah Williamson

12 April 2022; Leah Williamson of England. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

England captain Leah Williamson is another player missing out on the tournament due to an ACL injury. Williamson was withdrawn from Arsenal's 1-0 loss to Man Utd in April only 12 minutes into the game.

The arsenal player collapsed in pain, clutching her knee and immediately signaled to the bench for medical treatment.

Although the 26-year-old was able to walk herself off the pitch, a scan later confirmed that she had suffered an ACL tear, which will sideline her from playing any football for at least six months.

Fran Kirby

Fran Kirby

England forward Fran Kirby is set to undergo knee surgery after suffering an injury during Chelsea's Continental League Cup semi-final against West Ham in February. Ruling her out of the 2023 tournament and adding to the ever-growing list of English players missing the world cup due to a knee injury.

Kirby will be a huge miss to the England roster as she is a prolific goal scorer. The Chelsea forward is the club's  Women's super league all-time goalscorer. She has scored 110 goals in 175 matches for Chealse and during her time there has won 13 trophies, including 5 WSL titles.

Vivianne Miedema

vivianne miedema

The Netherlands and Arsenal forward is another player on the list of top-tier players who have torn knee ligaments. WSL and Netherland's all-time top goalscorer suffered an ACL injury back in December and immediately ruled herself out of the Women's World Cup.

Miediema said this after the game against Lyon back in December, “I won’t be able to help my team anymore this season, no World Cup, surgery and rehab for a long time”.

Janine Beckie

Canada star Janine Beckie is another noticeable name who will miss this year's tournament. Beckie tore a ligament in her right knee in a friendly against the USWNT U23s back in April with her club team the Portland Thorns.

The thorn's forward will be a huge miss to Canada, who are currently ranked 6th in the world. Beckie has played for the national team since 2014, registering 101 appearances and netting 36 goals for her country.

Katie Rood

New Zealand player Katie Rood is also a part of the ACL club who will miss this year's 2023 Women's World Cup. Rood who has a total of 47 appearances for both club and country was hoping to make the world cup roster for the host nation. Her dreams were sadly crushed when she suffered a knee injury against Celtic in late April.

SEE ALSO: Ireland Driving Push For Rainbow Armbands At Women's World Cup

Ireland Driving Push For Rainbow Armbands At Women's World Cup


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