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Tarpley reinjures knee, out of WWC

Lindsay Tarpley (C) Paul martinez / PHOTOSPORT
Lindsay Tarpley was lost for the 2011 Women's World Cup

Paul Martinez / PHOTOSPORT

By Paul Martinez

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The US Women’s National Team lost midfielder Lindsay Tarpley for the 2011 Women's World Cup, to a knee injury in the waning minutes of a friendly vs. Japan.

      According to US Soccer, Tarpley tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee with 15 minutes remaining in the match against Japan on May 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

      Tarpley had torn the same ACL while playing for the WPS Red Stars towards the end of the 2009 season. She recovered completely and was named to the World Cup squad to represent the US in the 2011 Women's World Cup to be held in Germany.

      This type of injury sidelines a player up to eight months. U.S. coach Pia Sundhage will name a replacement prior to the next pre-WWC match May 18 against Japan. The final WWC rosters are not due to FIFA until 10 working days before the start of the tournament, which begins on June 26.

      “Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed, but I believe that things happen for a reason and I know that I’ll grow and learn from this,” said Tarpley.

      “I had a long road back to recovery after my last surgery and one of my main goals was to get myself healthy and competing at a level that would give me the opportunity to make this World Cup Team. It has always been an extreme honor to be able to wear the U.S. jersey and represent my country and even though I won’t be in Germany, I will be there in spirit and cheering on the team from home.”

      Tarpley, 27, is one of the more accomplished players in US women's soccer history, scoring 32 goals in 120 appearances for the US. On her resume are two monumental and historic goals for the USA. She is credited with the “golden goal” for a 1-0 victory over Canada in the championship game of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup, and in the 2004 Olympics, Tarpley fired the clinching goal in the gold medal game against Brazil, a 2-1 U.S. victory.

      The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from June 26-July 17 in nine German cities. Team USA faces North Korea in its first match, June 28 in Dresden.

      This is not the first time the US has lost a primary striker immediately before a World Cup. In a 2003 WUSA match, forward Shannon MacMillan was sidelined just before the start of the World Cup with the same type of injury, and the US went on to place third. The US has not won since 1999.

      Sundhage said “It is sad to lose Tarp as she is a fantastic person and a great player. She will be missed on and off the field. But now we have to make some decisions and we will do that quickly as it’s important to have our entire roster together as we move towards the World Cup.”

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lindsay Tarpley (C) 2011 PHOTOSPORTLindsay Tarpley

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