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USWNT injuries: Sophia Smith, Kristie Mewis to miss September friendlies

The USWNT will be without Sophia Smith for its September friendlies against South Africa. (Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team is missing several big names for its first matches after the 2023 World Cup.

The roster for the September training camp features 21 of the 23 players who made up the World Cup team in Australia and New Zealand. The two players absent? Sophia Smith and Kristie Mewis, both of whom are out with injuries.

Smith, the lone USWNT player nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or, sustained a mild MCL sprain at the end of August in her second match back with the Portland Thorns after the international tournament. She had scored in her first game back and leads the NWSL with 11 goals this season.

The 23-year-old forward also was one of the team’s leading scorers Down Under, along with midfielder Lindsey Horan. Smith and Horan had two goals each; no one else on the USWNT found the back of the net during the disappointing World Cup run.

The absence from the September camp marks Smith’s second time missing friendlies this year for the USWNT. She missed the January camp in New Zealand with a foot injury.

Mewis, meanwhile, is out with a lower leg injury. The 32-year-old midfielder has not played since the World Cup and reportedly has yet to return to training with Gotham FC. USWNT staff declined to provide any additional information on the injury, saying it was up to Mewis and Gotham FC.

“Kristie is progressing really well,” interim head coach Twila Kilgore said. “She’s also in her home environment, working on return to play. And when she’s able to return to play and do that in her home environment, we would be looking at potentially bringing her in again in the future.”

Also not on the roster is Catarina Macario, who still is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in June 2022. She signed a three-year deal with Chelsea this June, and she has been training with the English club since August.

“Cat is still in recovery. She’s working on her return to play in her home environment at Chelsea,” Kilgore said. “She’s done a really good job. And we’re looking forward to potentially having her back in the squad in the future.”