NJ/NY Gotham FC and United States women’s national team star Midge Purce is set to miss significant time due to a serious injury. The winger suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury during a club match at the weekend. It was Gotham‘s opening National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) fixture of the 2024 season.

Purce suffered the setback in the first half of the match against the Portland Thorns. The attacker, however, attempted to remain in the game. Nevertheless, Purce ultimately fell to the ground while chasing a ball near the sidelines. She was then substituted just before halftime. Despite the injury, Gotham went on to win the matchup 1-0 on the day.

The club then revealed the exact extent of the injury on Wednesday. Purce will now miss the entire NWSL season, as well as the 2024 Summer Olympics with the USWNT. The winger was thought to be in the plans of new national team head coach Emma Hayes. Purce helped the USWNT lift the CONCACAF W Gold Cup earlier in the month.

Midge Purce previously missed most of 2023 with an injury

Following the unfortunate news, Purce took to social media to publicly comment on the setback. “It’s a reality I’m still struggling with and has left me with not too much to say,” Purce wrote on Instagram.

“I’m heartbroken to no longer be available for my season with Gotham FC or for Olympic selection with the USWNT — know I’m rooting for you both all year long. Though you may not see it, I’ll be doing everything I can to get back on the field.”

Purce previously missed much of the 2023 NWSL campaign with a torn quad muscle. As a result, Gotham narrowly earned a place in the league playoffs. However, with the playmaker in the team, the club made an unlikely run to the championship match. Purce was then eventually named MVP of the title game after providing assists on both of Gotham’s goals against Seattle Reign.

Gotham coach says too many matches are being played

Even before the injury, Gotham head coach Juan Carlos Amoros was vocal about the hectic scheduling in soccer. The manager was previously without seven key players during preseason preparations due to the aforementioned W Gold Cup. The tournament was only just created despite constant concerns over player fatigue.

“Again, we are paying the consequences of a tournament that should have never happened,” Amoros told reporters after the Purce injury. “We’re talking all the time about protecting the players. The players could not go to play an international competition after one week of preseason.

“We’re seeing the consequences now with Rose (Lavelle), Lynn (Williams), last week it was Debinha, now we have Midge. These players, [in] my experience, the clubs are going to keep paying for that competition.”

Along with the women’s game, fixture congestion has also affected key matches in men’s soccer as well. Several key stars could soon miss a massive matchup between Arsenal and Manchester City at the weekend due to injuries. Both teams are battling with Liverpool for the Premier League title.