USWNT Cancels Hawaii Friendly Following Rapinoe Injury

Megan Rapinoe (Photo via US Soccer)
Megan Rapinoe (Photo via US Soccer)
Megan Rapinoe (Photo via US Soccer)

The day after Megan Rapinoe injured her right knee in training, the U.S. Women’s National Team cancelled its Hawaiian friendly against Trinidad & Tobago citing poor playing conditions at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium.

According to a U.S. Soccer press release, the decision was made after testing the playing surface on December 5 and exploring “all possible available options” to improve field conditions.

“We extend our sincere apologies to those fans who were scheduled to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Hawaii,” said U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe. “Player safety is our number one priority at all times and after a thorough inspection throughout the day, we determined it was in the best interest for both teams to not play the match. We regret not being able to play in front of our fantastic, loyal fans.”

Rapinoe, 30, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee on December 4 during a non-contact drill while training for the now-cancelled December 5 friendly. An MRI confirmed the injury and the USWNT and Seattle Reign star will head home to Seattle to prepare for surgery.

“I want to thank my teammates and the staff for the amazing support I’ve received so far,” said Rapinoe. “I know I’ll be in the best of hands moving forward and I’ll be doing everything I can to get healthy as soon as possible. This is obviously a very difficult time, but I do feel super confident in my recovery as I’ve gone through this before and I know what the process will be like.”

A big question going forward will be whether Rapinoe will be available for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, in which the U.S. women will defend their gold medal.

“Players getting injured is always hard, but all of her teammates know that one of the strengths of this team is depth and everyone in the player pool is prepared to step up as we continue to prepare for Olympic qualifying,” said Jill Ellis, U.S. head coach. “Megan has a great support system and she’s very resilient, so we know she will be back as soon as possible.”