Getty Images

The United States women's national team are just three months away from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, and if they are to win it again, they may have to do it without forward Mallory Swanson. U.S. Soccer announced on Sunday that Swanson suffered a torn patella tendon in her left knee which seriously puts her World Cup participation in doubt. Swanson sustained the injury during the first half of USA's win against Ireland on Saturday.

The 24-year-old winger leads the team in scoring this year with eight goals in six games and was part of the USWNT's attacking trio alongside Sophia Smith and Alex Morgan. She has returned to Chicago for further evaluation. The severity of the tear and the next steps are forthcoming, but American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons states that complete recovery can take anywhere from six to 12 months.

It's a devastating blow to the team that had their attacking line fortified in the final months leading up to the World Cup. A replacement for the current international window has already been named in 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson, who will be with the team to close out the pair of friendlies against Ireland. Thompson was the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft by Angel City FC, the youngest draft pick in league history.

She scored in her regular season debut and earned a penalty kick during her start in week two. Thompson has previously represented the U.S. youth teams, most recently in the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica. She earned her first senior national team caps in October and was also called up to the USA's final camp of 2022 but did not dress for either of the year-end matches against Germany.

What's next

The USWNT will conclude their two-game series against Ireland on Tuesday. The two teams will square off at CITYPARK Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Team captain and St. Louis native Becky Sauerbrunn will be honored with a ceremony for 200 caps. She reached the milestone with the team during the 2023 SheBelieves Cup.