Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd will miss the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup due to a knee injury sustained at home during the offseason, the club announced in a release.
The two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States women's national team expressed her disappointment in missing the upcoming tournament with her club team.
"I have unfortunately picked up an injury while I was at home training," said Lloyd. "I was optimistic about being able to return in time for the NWSL Challenge Cup, but my injury is going to require more time to recover. I am disappointed I will not be able to compete with my teammates, but I will be cheering them on! The NWSL Challenge Cup is going to be an exciting tournament and will allow all players to play games this season. I look forward to continuing my recovery, and I am excited to get back on the field when I am ready."
Really bummed to be missing this and super excited for my teammates to compete! They are going to do amazing. 💙For those that think I’m pregnant, when I am....twitter will the first place I announce it 😊 https://t.co/bB01g79A8q— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) June 21, 2020
Lloyd's absence will be noticeable as the veteran forward scored eight goals, along with one assist, over her 14 appearances for the club just last season.
It will be difficult to fill the experience and playmaking that a veteran like Lloyd can provide, but Sky Blue FC coach Freya Coombe is looking ahead to the tournament with her current squad.
"It's unfortunate that Carli has suffered this injury," said Coombe. "We have been talking throughout the preseason and remained hopeful about her return. We'll continue to support her throughout the recovery process. Right now, I'm excited about the opportunity that our younger players and new signings have to step up, and I have full confidence in this squad."
Lloyd is not the first notable USWNT player to miss the tournament -- she joins Megan Rapinoe, who is sitting out due to the concern over the spread of the coronavirus. All players were given the option of abstaining from participation in the NWSL Challenge Cup, with no impact on their contract status or benefits.
Sky Blue FC kick off their Challenge Cup preliminary play against OL Reign on Tuesday, June 30 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.