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U.S. Defender Ali Krieger Tears ACL and MCL in Right Knee

U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger injured her right leg in the opening match of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

© Brad Smith/U.S. Soccer

IN THE IMAGE: The U.S. Women will be without right back Ali Krieger, who tore her ACL and MCL in her right knee on Friday.

Krieger Injured Late in First Half of Opening Match of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying

CHICAGO (Jan. 21, 2012) – An MRI this morning confirmed U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team defender Ali Krieger sustained tears to the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in her right knee. The starting right back suffered the injury late in the first half of the USA’s victory against the Dominican Republic on Friday, Jan. 20, the team’s first game of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada.

Krieger, who fell victim to a reckless tackle, will be sidelined for 6-8 months and will likely miss the London Olympic Games should the USA qualify. A date for Krieger’s surgery has not been set.

The U.S. will not be able to replace her on the Olympic Qualifying roster as teams cannot make changes once the tournament has started.

“I feel so unfortunate and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, especially to have it happen in a match where we were in control,” Krieger said. “Soccer is a funny game and this is part of being an athlete. It’s unfortunate that the timing is really bad, but this team is about way more than one player and I know with all the support from my teammates, my family and friends and from U.S. Soccer, I will come back stronger than ever. It’s going to be a fun year and I’ll be with the team in spirit the whole way, even if I have to be a vocal leader, just sitting and watching.”

The 27-year-old Krieger has earned 26 caps for the USA and launched herself into the spotlight with a fantastic performance at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. In her adopted country in which she has lived and played club soccer for more than four years, she played every minute of all six World Cup matches and famously converted the USA’s fifth and final penalty kick to seal the dramatic victory against Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Krieger is currently in her fifth year of playing for FFC Frankfurt in Germany where she has become an increasingly popular player and a key performer for one of the best teams in Europe.

“You can’t control (injuries) so you look at the situation. She’s been wonderful all the way up until now,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Ali has played very well, but I think (the team is) prepared for whoever is coming in for her. I’m really sorry for Ali, but she’s young and there are so many games in front of her. I hope she comes back (strong) and I know she will.”

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