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Angel City’s Sarah Gorden to miss start of NWSL season with knee injury

(Daniel Bartel/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Angel City FC defender Sarah Gorden has suffered a knee injury “that will keep her out of competition for a period of time,” the club announced Monday.

The 29-year-old joined ACFC in the offseason following a trade with the Chicago Red Stars, where she helped anchor the Red Stars’ back line. During the 2021 season, she earned Chicago’s first Iron Woman title after playing every minute of every game – 2,160 minutes through 24 games – and was a nominee for NWSL Defender of the Year.

She was traded alongside Julie Ertz, who is not expected to join the club this season.

Both trades came on the heels of the resignation of head coach Rory Dames, who quit the club ahead of verbal and emotional abuse allegations. The trades appeared to be requested, as a release by the Red Stars at the time said that the moves “prioritize and honor the wishes of select players.”

In a post on Instagram, Gordon can be seen with a full knee brace, with a caption that says “I feel it looks better on me than OBJ.” Los Angeles Rams star Odell Beckham Jr. tore his ACL in the Super Bowl.

“We are saddened that Sarah has experienced this injury. The team, our staff, and the whole Angel City organization is here to fully support her on her road to recovery,” said head coach Freya Coombe in a team statement.

Angel City already has a somewhat small roster relative to the rest of the NWSL, inviting just 25 players to training camp, which players said was “great” for building trust and confidence amongst team members. However, with the loss of Gorden for the foreseeable future, the club is left with just five defenders in Vanessa Gilles, Paige Nielsen, Ali Riley, Allyson Swaby and M.A. Vignola.

The club will begin its inaugural season with the start of the NWSL Challenge Cup on March 19.