June 12, 2008
Whitehill tears ACL
SEOUL, South Korea ĖU.S. Womenís National Team defender Cat Whitehill tore her left anterior cruciate ligament during training in Seoul, South Korea, on June 10, and will miss the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. WNT is in South Korea to compete in the Peace Queen Cup.
Whitehill, who played every minute of the 2007 FIFA Womenís World Cup, had an MRI on Tuesday night in Seoul, confirming the ACL injury. Whitehill has played 129 times for the USA and was a likely candidate for the USAís 18-player roster for the 2008 Olympics. She won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games and also played a key role for the USA at the 2003 FIFA Womenís World Cup.
Whitehill, 26, will return to the United States, where she will have surgery sometime in the next few weeks, followed by some eight weeks of rehabilitation.
ďObviously, itís a huge disappointment coming so close to a major tournament,Ē said Whitehill. ďIíve gotten a lot of hugs from my teammates and everyone on the team has been really supportive. Itís still a shock, especially since itís the first major injury of my career, but now itís time to go home, have surgery and spend time with my husband and be a good mom to my dog. Iíll be watching the team and cheering in front of the TV.Ē
Whitehillís injury comes just 19 days after the USA lost midfielder Leslie Osborne, also a likely Olympic Team member, to an ACL tear.
Defender Stephanie Cox will replace Whitehill on the roster for the Peace Queen Cup, as well as in the pool of 22 players being considered for spots on the 18-player 2008 Olympic Team. Cox started all six games at the 2007 FIFA Womenís World Cup, but was not originally named to the USAís 22-player roster when U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage pared down the player pool following the USAís most recent training camp.