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Christen Press hopes to return to training soon following rehab from torn ACL

Press says she never took her eyes of returning in time for the World Cup, but the window is rapidly closing.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Christen Press says she hopes to return to training with Angel City FC soon. The two-time World Cup champion tore her ACL in June 2022, Angel City’s inaugural season in the National Women’s Soccer League.

On Monday, Press spoke about the World Cup in an interview on ESPN’s “Futbol Americas” show. She acknowledged the difficult timeline, while admitting that returning for the World Cup was always her goal.

“There has never been a moment where I lost hope, and that I took my focus off of that World Cup, from the moment that I got injured until now,” Press said. “It’s the North Star for all of us professional players and it’s a motivation Obviously the timing’s really tough. But I’m doing everything I can to get back as quickly as possible because it would be a dream come true to represent my country again at that level.”

Her impending return is of interest to the United States women’s national team, but the World Cup starts in just over two months, and U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski will name his roster in six weeks. Press would need to play in games for Angel City to be considered for selection to the U.S. team. She has not yet returned to full training with the team, instead rehabbing on her own.

Andonovski said earlier this year that there was still hope for Press to make the World Cup roster if she got back on the field, but that has not yet happened.

The recovery process has taken longer than she expected, Press said, and included some setbacks along the way. The 34-year-old forward also lamented the prevalence of knee injuries throughout the women’s game right now, joining a chorus that recently included Canada’s Janine Beckie and Spain’s Alexia Putellas.

“I think the amount of ACL injuries in professional women’s soccer in the last two years has just been shocking. I think if the caliber of players, from Beth Mead to Miedema to Alexia, in every league, international players doing double duty, stars, if this happened on the men’s side, we would’ve immediately seen a reaction of how are we going to solve this and figure this out and make sure that these players are going to be available at the biggest moments of their career.”

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