Mallory Swanson has re-signed with the Chicago Red Stars on a record-breaking deal.

The free agent will remain in Chicago on a five-year contract, which is the longest in league history. And while the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s also reportedly the largest in NWSL history.

“I am excited to be back with the Red Stars! These last few years have been such a blessing in Chicago, even with the ups and downs, and I can’t wait to be back,” said Swanson in a release. “I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the team win championships. See everyone soon!”

It’s the latest in what has been a number of record-breaking signings for some of the league’s best players. Previously, Maria Sánchez had signed the largest contract in league history in December, signing a three-year contract worth nearly $1.5 million with the Houston Dash. In 2022, Trinity Rodman signed a four-year deal worth $1.4 million with the Washington Spirit.

“The Red Stars could not be more excited that Mallory Swanson has decided to extend her career with us here in Chicago,” said Chicago Red Stars president, Karen Leetzow. “Mallory exemplifies the grit, focus and resiliency of our franchise and is an anchor for this team. Mal is a born leader on and off the field and I look forward to working with her to make the Red Stars a championship team.”

There had been reports that Swanson had intended to re-sign with the Red Stars, despite receiving significant offers from other clubs. Swanson has been the Red Stars’ primary offensive asset since she signed with the club in 2021. She began 2022 as such, scoring two goals for the Red Stars early in the NWSL season before tearing her patellar tendon in April 2023.

Swanson has been back training without any brace or support on her injured knee, indicating that she may be healed and ready to play by the beginning of the NWSL season in March.

She’ll do so with a new head coach, as the team’s new ownership group opted to hire former Jamaica national team manager Lorne Donaldson. He also was president of elite youth club Real Colorado, where he helped develop Swanson and fellow USWNT star forward Sophia Smith.

As the U.S. women’s national team prepares to close out the calendar year with one more game against China PR on Tuesday, several injured stars are eyeing their returns in 2024 ahead of the Paris Olympics.

Among them is Mallory Swanson, who tore the patellar tendon in her left knee in April during a USWNT friendly. The 25-year-old forward has not played since then, but she has been periodically sharing updates about her recovery, including posting a video of herself running on grass for the first time in September.

More recently, she shared photos of her back in cleats and practicing with the Chicago Red Stars in October.

“The smiles & boots are back on,” reads her caption.

Swanson did not return for the NWSL season, which saw the Red Stars finish last in the league standings and with a goal differential of minus-22. Her contract has expired with the team, and she enters the offseason as a free agent.

Swanson’s husband, Dansby, signed a seven-year contract with the Chicago Cubs last December, and in March, Dansby said the Red Stars “made a promise that they would do right by [Mallory].” Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and her investor group also purchased the Red Stars for $60 million in September. Both of those factors make it seem likely that Swanson will re-sign with Chicago this winter.

Swanson’s return with the USWNT in 2024 is also highly anticipated. Despite being sidelined since April, Swanson is set to finish the year as the team’s leading scorer after scoring seven goals in a span of two months and over five games.

No other player has come close to Swanson’s mark — Trinity Rodman and Lindsey Horan are tied for second on the team with four goals each. Rodman has added three assists to bring her goal contributions total to seven, while Sophia Smith has two goals and two assists on the year.

The second year of NWSL free agency opened on Nov. 20.

One of the top free agents on the market is Crystal Dunn, who already has announced her intention to depart the Portland Thorns. Other top targets include OL Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle and Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson.

With the expansion draft set for Dec. 15, teams and players alike seem to be in no rush to formalize contracts for the 2024 season. Teams can protect up to nine players from selection by Bay FC or the Utah Royals, but free agents are exempt, so expect most signings to become official after the draft.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lone signing on the opening day of free agency went to the Royals. Michele Vasconcelos signed a two-year deal with Utah, setting up her return to her home state.

Unrestricted free agents can negotiate a new contract with any NWSL club, including expansion clubs Bay FC and Utah.

Restricted free agents also can negotiate with any NWSL club, but a player’s current team will have seven days to match any offer received — in salary, bonus structure and years. If the team does not match the offer, the player can sign with the new team, as spelled out in the NWSL’s collective bargaining agreement.

The NWSL is kicking off its second year of free agency, with U.S. women’s national team stars Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn and Mallory Swanson among the big names.

How does free agency work?

The free agency period, which began Friday, will look a little bit different than it did upon its debut in 2022. Last year, all players on expiring contracts with at least six years of NWSL experience were eligible for free agency.

This year, the pool has expanded. Any player with at least five years of service and an expiring contact is eligible for unrestricted free agency, while any player with at least three years of service and an expiring contract is eligible for restricted free agency.

Unrestricted free agents can negotiate a new contract with any NWSL club, including expansion clubs Bay FC and Utah Royals FC.

Restricted free agents also can negotiate with any NWSL club, but a player’s current team will have seven days to match any offer received, in salary, bonus structure and years. If the team does not match the offer, the player can sign with the new team, as spelled out in the NWSL’s collective bargaining agreement.

Players can sign contracts with new teams for the 2024 season starting on Nov. 20. Seven players eligible for free agency, including Gotham FC’s Sinead Farrelly, have a mutual option with their current club, which would have to be exercised on or before Nov. 20.

Which players are eligible?

The full list of 75 eligible NWSL free agents for the upcoming offseason is available here. Of those, 20 are restricted free agents, and 55 are unrestricted free agents.

Top unrestricted free agents include:

  • Tierna Davidson, Chicago Red Stars
  • Crystal Dunn, Portland Thorns
  • Sarah Gorden, Angel City FC
  • Casey Krueger, Chicago Red Stars
  • Savannah McCaskill, Angel City FC
  • Rose Lavelle, OL Reign
  • Emily Sonnett, OL Reign
  • Mallory Swanson, Chicago Red Stars

Top restricted free agents include:

  • Emina Ekic, Racing Louisville
  • Emily Fox, North Carolina Courage
  • Madison Hammond, Angel City FC

Mallory Swanson shared an injury update Wednesday on her Instagram account, posting a video of herself running on grass for the first time since her knee injury in April.

The 25-year-old forward, who stars for the Chicago Red Stars and the U.S. women’s national team, has not played since tearing the patellar tendon in her left knee. But the latest update represents a major step forward in her recovery, as Swanson acknowledged in her caption: “Big day woooo!!”

Just last week, Red Stars head coach Chris Petrucelli said Swanson was running on an antigravity treadmill and had not yet made the transition to regular ground.

A return this NWSL season hasn’t been ruled out, although Petrucelli did call it “a reach” when speaking with reporters last week. A patellar tendon tear can take up to a year to heal, according to the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, and the Red Stars have not established a firm timeline with Swanson.

“We’ve never put a timeline on Mal. And actually, we still haven’t discussed the timeline with her,” he said. “Obviously, we’re running out of games here.”

Chicago has four games left in the NWSL regular season, with the Red Stars sitting at the bottom of the league table. With Swanson’s contract expiring at the end of this season, she will enter the offseason as a free agent. But for now, she is focused on getting back and healthy.

“I don’t have downtime. It is all rehab, just focusing on that,” she told Just Women’s Sports in July. “I’ve learned that it’s just a process, and yeah, I think that you can just enjoy it. As much as it might not be fun, I think that there’s still so much positive that you can get out of it.”

Could Mallory Swanson return for the Chicago Red Stars in the 2023 NWSL season?

While acknowledging that it would be “a reach,” Red Stars head coach Chris Petrucelli wouldn’t rule her out when talking with reporters Thursday.

The 25-year-old forward tore the patellar tendon in her left knee during a U.S. women’s national team match in April. She has been sidelined since then, missing the World Cup for the USWNT and most of the season for Chicago.

An injury such as this one can take up to a year to heal, according to the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital. And the Red Stars still have not established a firm timeline for their star forward, Petrucelli said.

“We’ve never put a timeline on Mal. And actually, we still haven’t discussed the timeline with her,” he said. “Obviously, we’re running out of games here.”

As of this week, Swanson is running on an antigravity treadmill, but she is not yet running on regular ground, per Petrucelli.

“So it may be a reach for her to be back in time, but again, I’m not ready to put a timeline on that, and we’ll see where we go,” he said. “I think probably the next two or three weeks will give us a real indication of where Mal will be.”

The Red Stars have five matches left in the 22-match regular season, and they sit at the bottom of the 12-team league table with 17 points. Swanson’s Red Stars contract expires at the end of the season, and she will enter the offseason as a free agent.

In July, Swanson posted an update to her Instagram account. “First touches in three months,” read the caption, accompanied by a video of her getting touches on the ball with a member of the Red Stars training staff.

“I don’t have downtime. It is all rehab, just focusing on that,” she told Just Women’s Sports just a few days later. “I’ve learned that it’s just a process, and yeah, I think that you can just enjoy it. As much as it might not be fun, I think that there’s still so much positive that you can get out of it.”

U.S. women’s national team veteran Julie Ertz announced her retirement from professional soccer Thursday, and her teammates wasted no time in celebrating her career.

From retired champions Carli Lloyd and Ali Krieger to rising stars Mallory Swanson and Alyssa Thompson, U.S. players from throughout Ertz’s 10 years with the national team sung her praises. Ertz, 31, received her first cap in 2013 and her last at the 2023 World Cup.

Lloyd, who played with Ertz until her own retirement in 2021, applauded her work ethic in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Lloyd and Ertz were both members of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup-winning squads.

“Honored to have played with you and train with you during our offseasons!” she wrote. “You gave it your all every single training/game and represented the crest with pride, honor and the mindset needed to help the team achieve success! You will be missed! Congrats on an amazing career.”

Many other players commented on Ertz’s Instagram post announcing her retirement.

Thompson, 18, just played in her first World Cup with the USWNT. She also played alongside Ertz this season with NWSL club Angel City FC.

“Such a legend and a role model,” Thompson wrote. “Thank you Julie.”

Krieger wrote: “Congrats! So grateful to know you and play alongside you over the years. I hope this next chapter is more than you could have ever imagined!”

Swanson commented: “Congrats Jules! Very thankful for our time together! This game will miss you!!”

Abby Dahlkemper shared a similar message, writing: “Congrats Jules! It was an honor to share the field with you.”

And Sofia Huerta kept it simple, commenting: “Julesss!!! ❤️❤️❤️ I love u”

The U.S. women’s national team made the wrong kind of World Cup history Sunday. But the team did so without some of its biggest stars.

The USWNT’s Round of 16 exit has prompted many questions about the future: Should head coach Vlatko Andonovski keep his job? Who will be on the roster for the 2024 Olympics? But the elimination also leaves room for what ifs, namely: What could this team have done with a healthy roster?

Injuries kept top players, including Sam Mewis, Christen Press, Catarina Macario and all-important defender and captain Becky Sauerbrunn, out of competition. Another name on that list: Mallory Swanson. What would the USWNT have looked like with a healthy Swanson on the forward line?

Before her injury, Swanson started the year on a tear. She had seven goals in five games for the USWNT to kick off 2023. Whenever the 25-year-old forward was on the pitch, it felt like a goal was inevitable.

Then came April. In an international friendly against Ireland, Swanson tore the patellar tendon in her left knee. That injury kept her off the World Cup roster, though Swanson tried to keep her hope alive for the tournament early in her recovery. Up until June, Swanson believed that she could make the World Cup roster, even if not fully fit.

“I was like, I’m gonna be there,” she told Sports Illustrated. “Like, I might not be 90 minutes fit, but I’m gonna be there.”

But she wasn’t. And while other players missed out as well, Swanson’s injury sent a shock through the system that made you feel an immediate sense of dread. After all, Andonovski had built his team’s attack around Swanson. Whether you believe that was a good or decidedly bad idea, that is what he did in the lead-up to the tournament. And it’s what left the team scrambling in her absence.

The USWNT had two matches without Swanson before the World Cup to try and piece together what it would look like without her. Andonovski used the second friendly against Ireland to evaluate players individually. And then against Wales, he showed a starting lineup that hadn’t had a chance to gel – and even then, it was not the final starting lineup that featured against Vietnam in the World Cup opener.

Instead of preparing for the tournament, Andonovski spent his time trying to put together a 23-piece jigsaw puzzle that he never locked into place. And when the fundamental piece went missing, the entire thing fell apart.

Swanson could have changed how far the USWNT went in the World Cup. She could have changed the record-breaking goal scoring drought the team faced. Her presence, however, probably wouldn’t have changed the final outcome. Maybe the USWNT would have gone out in the quarterfinals or the semifinals. The end result? Likely still the same.

What we saw from the USWNT at the World Cup, as Tobin Heath put it best, was a group of 11 individuals trying to make something work. Having Swanson on the pitch Down Under would have been electric. She inevitably would have scored some goals. But realistically, even with the star forward, the team still had issues.

One player does not change the makeup of a starting lineup that never really played together for an extended period of time. One player does not change the tactical decisions that were made in the midfield or on defense. And one player does not change the fact that Andonovski spent the past two years shuffling players in and out of camp instead of allowing a group of players to grow together into a World Cup contender.

The U.S. women’s national team is competing in the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. As you can imagine, players and coaches — past and present — have plenty to say about it, and Just Women’s Sports is keeping track.

Aug. 3: ‘Trust and support each other,’ Brandi Chastain tells USWNT

The 1999 World Cup hero criticized the USWNT’s play after its scoreless draw with Portugal to close out the group stage, saying on the “After the Whistle” podcast that the U.S. needs “to be better in every phase of the game.” Ahead of the Round of 16 match against Sweden, though, she offered encouragement to the two-time defending champions.

“If you have any concern, look around and know someone has your back,” she wrote. “No one said it would be easy so dance in the glory of the difficult. Be brave, communicate, trust and support each other.”

Aug. 2: Heather O’Reilly: USWNT needs to make ‘big changes’

“We would all be naive if we thought we could win this World Cup with the way that we look right now,” the USWNT great said on Fox Sports after the Portugal match. “So there needs to be changes. And there needs to be big changes. Whether or not Vlatko Andonovski is going to make the changes, well, that’s another story.”

Read more on the lineup changes she suggests for the match against Sweden.

Aug. 1: Carli Lloyd: USWNT ‘lucky to not be going home’

Following the third group-stage match against Portugal, the two-time World Cup champion turned Fox Sports analyst called out the USWNT players and head coach Vlatko Andonovski after the “uninspiring” result.

“There’s been a shift within this team, within the federation, within the culture, the mentality,” Lloyd said on the postgame broadcast. “The importance and meaning of winning has changed. What has come from winning has become more important.”

In particular, Lloyd took issue with the players’ seemingly relaxed conduct both before and after the scoreless draw. She pointed out players dancing before the match and then smiling and laughing after the final whistle.

“Players are smiling. They’re laughing. It’s not good enough,” she said.

More on USWNT vs. Netherlands:

July 27: Midge Purce: ‘I don’t understand why we have no subs’

Following the second group-stage match against the Netherlands, the injured USWNT forward questioned the lack of substitutions deployed in the 1-1 draw.

“I don’t understand why we have no subs. No subs! Just Rose,” Purce told Katie Nolan. The pair are hosting  Just Women’s Sports’ World Cup show “The 91st” throughout the tournament.

Each team can use up to five substitutions per match at the World Cup. In Wednesday’s draw, the USWNT used just one, as Purce noted: Rose Lavelle. Lavelle, who entered to start the second half, is recovering from a knee injury, which has limited her minutes so far in the tournament.

“Rose is great. We love Rose. Happy to see Rose,” Purce said. “But no subs? That’s very confusing. Where’s Lynn?”

USWNT forward (and Purce’s Gotham FC teammate) Lynn Williams has not seen the pitch through two World Cup matches.

More on USWNT vs. Netherlands:

July 24: Carli Lloyd points out ‘worrying trend’ for USWNT

The two-time World Cup champion turned Fox Sports analyst is concerned about the team’s struggle to finish its chances under head coach Vlatko Andonovski, she said ahead of the second group-stage match against the Netherlands.

“To be perfectly blunt, this has been a general theme with Vlatko ever since he became the coach in 2019,” Lloyd said. “Two years ago at the Olympics, we had chances that we weren’t putting away. That’s worrying. Because when you go deeper in a tournament, those opportunities are going to be few and far between.”

July 23: OL Reign coach believes Megan Rapinoe could take over World Cup

“In the biggest moment, when it really matters, you truly believe she is going to turn up,” OL Reign coach Laura Harvey said on “The Re-Cap Show” with Tobin Heath and Christen Press. “So it just wouldn’t shock me if she sets this thing alight.

“She might set it alight by playing 30 minutes every game, coming on and scoring the penalty that matters. Or taking the corner that matters. Or whipping three crosses in that matter. She just has an ability of doing the craziest things in the craziest moments in the only way that she can.”

July 22: Alex Morgan laments missed penalty kick in opening win

The 34-year-old striker missed a penalty kick in the USWNT’s 3-0 win against Vietnam to open the tournament. Morgan’s shot became the first U.S. penalty to be saved at a World Cup since 2003, when Mia Hamm’s attempt was stuffed against Norway.

“It wasn’t a good penalty for me and I know that,” Morgan said. She also lamented more missed opportunities throughout the match, in which the USWNT had 28 shots but just seven on target.

July 21: Tobin Heath: USWNT ‘has a massive question mark’

“It’s the Wild West of women’s football, and I really think that this team has a massive question mark over it,” the two-time World Cup champion told USA Today. “And I think that’s because there’s so many new and exciting players that could, at any point, just go off and have a tournament of their life. But whether that will happen or not is for us to kind of watch and enjoy.”

The 35-year-old forward is sitting out the World Cup for both physical and mental reasons, she told The Athletic.

July 19: Lindsey Horan navigates honor and burden of captaincy

While Horan and Alex Morgan are co-captains for the tournament, Horan will wear the armband when both are on the pitch at the same time. And she will aim to live up to the example set by longtime Sauerbrunn, whom she called her “role model and inspiration.”

“So much changes, but (it’s) also a very cool thing to be able to take on that responsibility and get to experience this. And I will have a lot of great people that get to help me along the way,” she told Just Women’s Sports.

July 13: Alex Morgan already is looking toward Paris 2024

The 34-year-old striker is preparing for her fourth World Cup with the USWNT. Yet her soccer goals don’t stop there. She already is looking toward an NWSL playoff run with the San Diego Wave and toward the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“I do want to win another World Cup. I do want to win other Olympics. I do want to win an NWSL championship,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

July 13: Lindsey Horan compares USWNT coaches Andonovski and Ellis

The 29-year-old midfielder experienced the 2019 World Cup title run with coach Jill Ellis. Now she is part of the 2023 run with Vlatko Andonovski, who took over for Ellis after the 2019 tournament.

“You have two coaches that maybe see the game in a little bit different way,” she told ESPN. “The way Jill managed us through the last World Cup was, you know, we’re going obviously out to win every single game and in the best way possible and we’re gonna play what the game brings us, what we can expose from different teams.”

Read more to see what she had to say about the current USWNT coach.

July 13: Crystal Dunn offers critique of USWNT’s World Cup kits

The 31-year-old defender discussed her mindset in the lead-up to the World Cup with Just Women’s Sports. She also gave her opinion of the Nike jerseys the USWNT will don Down Under.

“The white ones kind of look like my son took a paintbrush and just literally threw his paintbrush at me, so I think that’s kind of cool,” Dunn said. “I know that’s funny to say, but I think it’s a different look… I think I like our blue jerseys a little bit better. It just looks clean. I like the color blue, and I think it just looks more American.”

July 12: Carli Lloyd eyes next-generation USWNT stars

The former USWNT star, who is attending this World Cup as analyst with FOX Sports, has her eye on the next generation of USWNT standouts. Lloyd, who played on the 2015 and 2019 title-winning teams, pointed to a few up-and-comers in particular as players to watch: Naomi Girma, Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman and Alyssa Thompson.

“They’re doing it at the club level, but this is the world’s biggest and best stage,” she told Boardroom. “It’s a whole different ballgame. So it’s going to be really interesting to see what players can rise to the challenge.”

Lloyd also identified several teams (other than the USWNT) that could make deep runs at the tournament, including Germany, England, Brazil, France and co-host Australia.

July 12: Alex Morgan: USWNT ‘never’ discusses three-peat

The USWNT is going for a third consecutive World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand, but the players do not discuss the potential feat, the USWNT co-captain said.

“It’s actually never thrown around it with the team,” Morgan said. “It’s thrown around with media. I think a lot of fans talk about it. But honestly, this team, we have 14 first timers for the World Cup and we see this as our own journey. Each four-year block is its own.”

Read more from Morgan and her co-captain Lindsey Horan on the team’s quest “to make history.”

July 10: Trinity Rodman: ‘We’re going to get the title’

Despite the tough road to a World Cup title, Rodman expects her team to take home the prize, she told ESPN’s “Fútbol Americas.”

“My expectations are that we’re the most ruthless team, we’re never going to give up and we’re going to get the title,” she said.

Read more highlights from her interview, which came after her two-goal performance against Wales in the USWNT’s World Cup send-off match.

July 9: Vlatko Andonovski: ‘The world is catching up’

The USWNT still holds the No. 1 spot in the FIFA ranking entering World Cup, but Andonovski knows the other 31 teams are hot on their heels.

“The top 10 teams have always been there,” he said after the USWNT’s pre-tournament tune-up against Wales. “We saw that. There was a different champion in 2003. It wasn’t the U.S. in 2007, 2011…

“The world that is catching up is Wales, is Vietnam, is Zambia, is Portugal. These are the countries that are catching up. The 7-0, 8-0 games are gone. And we can see that.”

July 9: Mallory Swanson believed she was ‘going to make’ World Cup roster despite injury

The 25-year-old forward tore the patellar tendon in her left knee during a USWNT friendly against Ireland in April. Despite the typical months-long recovery timeline for such an injury, she still held out hope for a World Cup appearance, at least for a little while.

“Honestly, there was a good time where I was like ‘I’m going to make it in time,'” Swanson told The Sporting News. “Realistically, anyone can go on Google and look up the recovery time for my injury, and it didn’t really correlate [with my expectations], but I was like ‘I’m gonna do it.'”

July 4: Sam Mewis breaks down World Cup bracket

The 30-year-old midfielder is missing the World Cup with a lingering knee injury, but she still took the time to break down the USWNT’s group-stage opponents and the top teams overall for Just Women’s Sports on the Snacks podcast.

“Can the U.S. win three? Yes. Will Europe get in there and have one of those teams who’ve been at the top get over the hump? Or is there another breakthrough team outside the U.S. and Europe?” she asked.

“I’m obviously rooting for the U.S. If I had to make a prediction, of course it would be them. [That] doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy.”

Check out her full thoughts on the USWNT’s competitors, in the group stage and beyond.

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. Next up: Mallory Swanson.

Position: Forward
Total caps: 88
Most recent USWNT appearance: April 8, 2023 vs. Ireland (International friendly)

Where is Swanson?

During the first of the USWNT’s pair of April friendlies against Ireland, Swanson tore the patellar tendon in her left knee. The injury dealt a significant blow to the 25-year-old forward and to the USWNT. She had been the squad’s leading scorer by far in 2023, with seven goals through six appearances.

Shortly after the injury, she underwent surgery to repair the tendon.

“This is hard. I’m in shock and don’t have much to say other than, thank you to everyone for the messages. I feel the love and prayers, and holding them close to my heart,” Swanson wrote on Instagram following the surgery. “Surgery this morning was a success. I’m thankful for my trainers, doctors, coaches, and teammates for their help throughout this process.

“The beauty out of all of this, is that God is always good. He’s got me and always has.”

A member of the 2019 World Cup team, Swanson was slated to play an even bigger role for the USWNT this time around. The team had been building around Swanson and Sophia Smith’s attacking power, head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the injury, so he has had to rework the strategy for the front line.

“With losing Mal [Swanson], conceptually we may look slightly different,” he said. “Now with Mal not being there, we’re going to have to make a decision. What are we going to go for? Like for like and try the same way? Or is Mal going to be replaced by a group of players?

“We’re going to change that as we go forward, from game to game. It’s hard for me to answer this question right at this moment but once camp is over and we review it, we hope to have a little better answer or at least a clear understanding of the direction that we want to take.”

When will she return?

No timeline has been provided for Swanson’s recovery, but according to the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, a mild tear can take “up to six months to heal, while a full tendon rupture, with surgery, can take up to a year.”

Swanson has been seen on the sidelines of Chicago Red Stars games in a brace. Recently, she told Fansided that post-surgery “was a little rocky at first” but she’s doing well. She also posted a video of herself kicking a ball on July 19 with the caption, “First touches in three months.”

“I was able to get my feet underneath me. Now it’s basically like taking it day by day and just rehabbing my knee,” she said. “I’m getting excited to watch the World Cup as well.”

Who else is absent from the World Cup roster?