22 June 2020

Carli Lloyd OUT of the NWSL Challenge Cup: ‘It’s a knee injury, I’m not pregnant,’ she says

US soccer legend Carli Lloyd will not play in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup due to a minor knee injury.

Lloyd, who plays for Sky Blue FC, has said she’s really ‘disappointed’ to miss the tournament which begins on June 27. The league is the first to return in North America.

She said: “I have unfortunately picked up an injury while I was at home training. I was optimistic about being able to return in time for the NWSL Challenge Cup, but my injury is going to require more time to recover. 

"I am disappointed I will not be able to compete with my teammates, but I will be cheering them on! The NWSL Challenge Cup is going to be an exciting tournament and will allow all players to play games this season. 

"I look forward to continuing my recovery, and I am excited to get back on the field when I am ready.”

And head coach Freya Coombe added: “It’s unfortunate that Carli has suffered this injury.

“We have been talking throughout the preseason and remained hopeful about her return. We’ll continue to support her throughout the recovery process."

Lloyd later took to Twitter to reiterate the reason behind her non-involvement after fans began to speculate she was pregnant.

She wrote: "Really bummed to be missing this and super excited for my teammates to compete! They are going to do amazing.

"For those that think I’m pregnant, when I am....twitter will the first place I announce it"

Lloyd joins players from the US national team who are also said not to be playing in the competition.

OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe is understood to have opted out of the cup as players are not obligated to play due to the risk of the coronavirus pandemic. 

A coach at the club said Rapinoe was not taking part due to the increased injury risk and because of the pandemic.

And it is rumoured that Utah Royals player Christen Press has also chosen to sit the tournament out, though there has been no official confirmation.

The risk of the disease was highlighted last week as an unidentified player tested positive

There is rigorous testing and medical protocols in place for the competition.

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