Seattle Reign FC today announced that Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson has a torn ACL, and is expected out for the entire 2017 season. The injury in her left knee occurred earlier this month while Matheson trained with Canada in preparation for the Algarve Cup, which kicks off March 1.
It is the same knee Matheson injured in the fall of 2014, which put her on a timeline to return to competitive play toward the end of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Recovery for a torn ACL is different for every athlete, but it typically takes between six months to a year before they can step on the field again. With Matheson being 32, and this being her second tear on the same knee, recovery could be more difficult.
“It's obviously disappointing to be off the field for both Canada and Seattle for this upcoming season, but this will hopefully give me the best chance to be back to where I want to be for both club and country looking ahead to next season, and onward towards 2019 and 2020,” said Matheson.
Reign FC acquired Matheson in a trade with the Washington Spirit — swapping the rights to midfielder Arielle Ship, who was the 26th pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, and Seattle’s natural third round pick in the 2018 draft.
The midfielder played in 12 matches for the Spirit in 2016 — scoring four goals and helping lead the team to the NWSL final. Matheson also collected a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games with Canada. She has 191 caps for her country, along with 17 goals and 20 assists.
While Matheson’s absence will be a significant loss for Reign FC, the team still has a small amount of time to strengthen and secure more depth in the midfield. It is rumored that Mexican international Veronica Perez will be joining the team in the preseason. Seattle fans might remember her as Goal-a-Game Perez for her standout 2012 season with the Sounders Women.
“I'm so disappointed for Diana. When she told me my heart sank for her,” said Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “She will be missed this season, but we have built a roster that has huge depth, so the group coming into preseason will be pushing to show who can step up.”
The preseason kicks off on March 13. Until then, fans will be wishing Matheson a speedy recovery.