Two days after its head coach Christy Holly stepped down as head coach, Sky Blue FC was dealt another blow.
The NWSL side announced that veteran defender Christie Pearce would miss the remainder of the season as the result of what the team termed “accumulative injuries.”
After playing every minute of every match during the 2016 season, the 42-year old Pearce has been slowed by various ailments this year. She made 16 starts over 16 appearances in 2017, registering 1440 minutes.
“I’ve always had a really good awareness of my body and the ability to recover,” she said. “I feel that I started the season off strong, but I’ve been consistently fighting through injuries, and I’m not able to give to the team what I consider to be my 100 percent. This decision, while it is hard to swallow, I know is the right thing for me and the team because I just can’t leave it all on the field everyday.”
A native of Point Pleasant, N.J., Pearce has played with Sky Blue FC since the NWSL was founded in 2013. The former U.S Women’s National Team captain earned 311 caps the U.S., which is the second-most in the history of international soccer (men or women). Pearce won two FIFA Women’s World Cups with the women’s national team, as well as winning three Olympic Gold Medals and one Olympic Silver Medal.
“Something I must do is personally thank all of the fans,” said Pearce. “I feel so privileged to have their unwavering support, and they have always stood by me through thick and thin. I am also very confident that the team will push on this season in my absence. Erica and Mandy are now back to full fitness, and they will make significant contributions to the team’s success the rest of the way.”
“It goes without saying that Christie Pearce will be greatly missed throughout the rest of the 2017 season,” said Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC president and general manager. “We must always remember that players have a life off the field as well, and their personal well-being must remain at the forefront of a decision like this.”