The 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup turns to the quarterfinals on Friday, when the hosts, Utah Royals FC, will play a crucial match against the Houston Dash
It will be a rematch of the Royals’ tournament-opener, a thrilling 3-3 draw which began with midfielder Diana Matheson scoring the opening goal of the match. Matheson’s return to the field for Utah was a grueling process. A painful avulsion fracture in her toe kept her out of the 2019 World Cup and the entire 2019 NWSL season.
In the end, it would be 21 months between NWSL matches for Matheson, a prolonged stretch which, for the first time, made the Canadian international question herself.
“I’ve had a few injuries through the latter half of my career,” Matheson, now 36 years old, explained to The Equalizer. “It was never anything I doubted in the past. These last few years, it just seems like I’ve been hurt more than I’ve been healthy. The doubts crept in more later in my career. The game always gets better; there’s always new, great players coming in.”
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