United States
USWNT's Mallory Swanson undergoes successful surgery on torn patella tendon
United States

USWNT's Mallory Swanson undergoes successful surgery on torn patella tendon

Updated Apr. 11, 2023 3:40 p.m. ET

United States women's national team star forward Mallory Swanson underwent surgery on Tuesday morning to repair the torn patella tendon in her left knee, she announced in her first Instagram post since January. Swanson sustained the injury during the first half of the United States' 2-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.

There is no current timetable for Swanson's return. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson would not go into the severity of the injury regarding whether it was partially or fully torn, but said that Swanson is "getting further evaluation in Chicago" and will "make her timeline available to the public when she wants to."

She had also been on a mission to become one of the greatest soccer players in the world after not making the USWNT roster for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She told FOX Sports that she had never experienced adversity in her career up to that point, but came back stronger and more determined than ever.


The 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is less than four months away. The U.S. open the tournament July 22 against Vietnam in Auckland, N.Z.

Alyssa Thompson will replace Swanson on the USWNT roster for the remainder of training camp as the team prepares for another upcoming friendly against Ireland on Tuesday at CITYPARK in St. Louis.

The 18-year-old Thompson became the youngest NWSL draft pick in league history when Angel City FC selected her No. 1 overall earlier this year. Thompson has two USWNT caps, earning both last October when she was called in for matches against England — in front of more than 70,000 fans at Wembley Stadium — and Spain. She played in both games then as a 17-year-old.

When U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski released his 26-player roster for the current April training camp, he was asked if Thompson was still in the mix. He said then that he values Thompson and believes that even though she didn't make the training camp initial roster, she could contend for a World Cup roster spot. 

"Part of the reason why she was in those camps was that if it happens that she has a good season, and she does well and earns a roster spot for the World Cup, it wouldn't be her first camp with the team," Andonovski said before adding, "[She has] experience being in the environment, [understands] the dynamics of the environment and has already played in big matches against great opponents."

The team was visibly shaken up and down as they spoke about Swanson's injury after Saturday's game.

"Everybody was affected by it," Andonovski said. "Mal is a lovable person. She's this happy person and brings joy into the environment. Right now, we're all just hoping for good news and hoping we'll see Mal back on the field soon."

Andonovski said Monday that he spoke with Swanson, and she’s doing "better than I thought," he said.

"She said all she wants is for the team to be successful, and she’ll be our biggest supporter," Andonovski continued. "She’s in a good place, as good as she can be at this moment. We’re going to miss her."

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of "Strong Like a Woman," published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.


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