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Lloyd, Rapinoe, Morgan to miss NWSL soccer tournament

Carli Lloyd Megan Rapinoe Alex Morgan NWSL National Women's Soccer League NWSL Challenge Cup
Carli Lloyd sustained a left knee injury while she trained at home and won't be healthy enough to play in the NWSL Challenge Cup this summer in Utah. (John Angelillo/UPI file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY (UPI) — Carli Lloyd has joined fellow United States Women’s National Team stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan on the list of stars who will miss the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup tournament.

Lloyd, 37, said Sunday in a statement that she sustained a minor left knee injury this off-season and won’t be healthy enough to compete in the June 27 to July 26 tournament in Utah.

The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup marks the return for all nine teams in the league, which was scheduled to start its season April 18, but was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Extremely bummed not to be able to play, but really excited for my teammates and will be cheering them on,” Lloyd wrote Sunday on social media. “And full disclosure I am not pregnant!”

Lloyd picked up the injury while she trained at home. The star midfielder is undergoing rehab for the injury.

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“It’s unfortunate that Carli has suffered this injury,” Sky Blue FC coach Freya Coombe said. “We have been talking throughout the pre-season and remained hopeful about her return.

“We’ll continue to support her throughout the recovery process. Right now, I’m excited about the opportunity that our younger players and new signings have to step up, and I have full confidence in this squad.”

Rapinoe’s coach Farid Benstiti from the OL Reign said earlier this month that Rapinoe would not compete in the tournament. Morgan will not play after she gave birth to her first child May 7. The Orlando Pride placed Morgan on a 45-day disabled list on Sunday.

Pride defender Ali Krieger is expected to play in the tournament. Mallory Pugh, Lloyd’s teammate on Sky Blue FC and the U.S. women’s team, is also expected to play. North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley has said he expects Lynn Williams and Crystal Dunn to attend the tournament.

Rosters for the Challenge Cup were due Sunday. The NWSL announced Thursday that a player tested positive for COVID-19 but so “no changes” were planned for the Challenge Cup.

Reporting by Alex Butler

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