If the Canadian women's national team want to win a second Olympic medal, they will have to do so without keeper Erin McLeod. The Canadian Soccer Association confirmed today that McLeod will miss this summer's games with an ACL tear.
This injury occurred during a Champions League semi-final match last month, when McLeod was representing FC Rosengard. This is the second injury that McLeod has suffered this year.
The injury is a big blow to the Canadian team, as McLeod is a core player for the national team. Canada's starting keeper has played 115 games for the national team, and is considered one of the best in the world. She earned a clean sheet in the 2012 bronze medal game.
Along with the announcement that McLeod will miss the Olympic games, the CSA released a statement from the keeper. In the statement the 33-year-old thanked everyone for the support she has received during this difficult time.
"This news was of course heartbreaking because going to the Olympics is a dream as well as an honour," McLeod wrote in her statement. "This Olympic team is one that will excite you, I know for me, it feels like I have been waiting for this group my whole career."
McLeod helped Canada qualify for the Olympics, and was in net for the decisive 3-1 victory over Costa Rica. She would miss the tournament final against the United States, however, with a separate injury.
The injury is expected to take between one to two years for McLeod to recover from in order to be able to return to soccer. She says there are no guarantees that she ever does.
In McLeod's place, 29-year-old Stephanie Labbe is expected to start for Canada. Labbe was in net when Canada captured their first ever Algarve Cup earlier this year. She has played 27 games for Canada all time, and has 13 clean sheets in that time.
The 12-team Olympic tournament kicks off on August 3, and goes until August 19. Canada will not find out who they play in the group stage of the tournament until the draw takes place in coming months.