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McLeod reveals torn ACL; will miss Olympics

Erin McLeod and the Dash have now won three consecutive matches after beating the Flash for the 2nd time this season. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Erin McLeod’s third torn ACL is expected to keep her off the field for one to two years. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The Canadian Soccer Association and Erin McLeod formally announced on Wednesday that the keeper has a torn ACL suffered in her Champions League debut with FC Rosengard last month. It is McLeod’s third torn ACL and the estimated recovery time is one to two years. The injury means Mcleod will not be able to represent Canada in the Olympics this summer.

“Erin is an incredible athlete and her absence in the lead up to and during the Rio Olympics will be felt,” said Head Coach John Herdman. “She really puts her whole self into playing for Canada and has been a driving force in every area, including playing a key role on the off-field leadership of the team.”

McLeod had been Canada’s first choice keeper since the London Olympics. She helped the Canadians win the Bronze Medal in that tournament and was also famously whistled for holding the ball too long in her penalty box, leading to a United States free kick that ultimately led to the goal that tied their thrilling semifinal. The U.S. prevailed in extra time.

McLeod’s recent transfer to Rosengard marks her second stint in Sweden. She previously played for Dalsjofors GolF after spending the first two WPS seasons with the Washington Freedom. Canada allocated her to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural NWSL season. She was traded to Houston where the spent the last two years.

With McLeod injured and Karina LeBlanc retired, Canada goalkeeping duties heading to Rio will fall on Sabrina D’Angelo and Stephanie Labbe. D’Angelo is entering her second pro season with the Western New York Flash. Labbe is in NWSL for the first time this season. She will play for the Spirit.

Mcleod’s full statement released Wednesday is below:

Thank you to everyone for your sentiments and support. I want to apologize for not making a public statement until now about my injury, but I was waiting for all the information to make sure when I went public I was sure of what I wanted.

First, I want to say how grateful I am to have the Canadian Soccer Association, the team, and staff, and of course medical staff behind me and supporting me every step of the way. I am also grateful for my current club, FC Rosengard, and all the support they have shown. It is clear to me that both parties are mostly interested in my health as a person first and foremost, and my life as a soccer player second.

I tore my ACL in the Champions League semi-final game a few weeks ago. The biggest question is the Olympics and because I have already had two operations it makes a third one, well, extremely complicated. What I know for sure is I won’t be ready for August. My surgical options means it will take between one and two years to come back, and there are no guarantees, as there never really are in life.

This news was of course heartbreaking because going to the Olympics is a dream as well as an honour. This Olympic team is one that will excite you, I know for me, it feels like I have been waiting for this group my whole career. The people on this team work harder than any other people I know, and, well, I know they will give anything for the emblem on their chests.

As for me, family, friends, fans, thank you for your love, but know that I am grateful for every moment I have put on a Canadian jersey and this is not the end of the road for me – know that I’ve still got a lot of fight left and I hope to be on that field again someday soon.

Thanks again for all of your support,
Erin McLeod

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