The U.S. women’s national team is playing in the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand without a number of familiar faces.
Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at who those players are and why they’re absent. First up: Becky Sauerbrunn.
Total caps: 216
Most recent USWNT appearance: April 11, 2023 vs. Ireland (International friendly)
The USWNT captain and veteran defender is missing the World Cup with a foot injury, she revealed ahead of the roster announcement.
Sauerbrunn has been upfront about the injury, noting that while a World Cup return would have been “possible,” doctors warned that it would be “aggressive” for her to get back in time, she said on an episode of Snacks. The tournament kicks off on July 20, and the USWNT plays its first game on July 21.
“And so I think it was always in the back of my head that this was a possibility,” she said. “But until (head coach Vlatko Andonovski) called, I was holding out like 10% hope that I was going to make it.”
In a statement after the announcement, she noted that “heartbroken isn’t even the half of it” when it comes to missing out on what would have been her fourth World Cup.
The 38-year-old continues to rehab the injury and intends to return to the field for the Portland Thorns again during this NWSL season. She won’t have to rush her timeline for the World Cup, but she could still be back for the Thorns within weeks.
For the USWNT, she played in April and could rejoin the team after the tournament, though she likely is approaching the end of her career. And while she’s “obviously going to be cheering my ass off” for the team from afar, she’s still going to be sad for awhile, she said on Snacks.
“But like all things, I will get over it. I’ll be stronger for it,” she added. “So it just sucks right now.”