Mallory Swanson, shown moving the ball for the Red Stars in the team's home opener on April 1, may not be playing for a while as she suffered a knee injury while playing for the United States Women's National Team. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Mallory Swanson, shown moving the ball for the Red Stars in the team's home opener on April 1, may not be playing for a while as she suffered a knee injury while playing for the United States Women's National Team. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Sports Report | Knee injury could keep Swanson out of women’s World Cup

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

This was supposed to be a huge year for Mallory Swanson.

The Chicago Red Stars and U.S. Women’s National team forward opened 2023 with six goals for the national team in friendlies ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

She also figured to be a key player for the Red Stars in their quest to return to the NWSL playoffs.

With her husband, Dansby Swanson, playing shortstop for the Cubs, some fans were trying to organize day-night doubleheaders when the Red Stars and Cubs would playing at home on the same day.

A lot of fun was potentially in store.

But things have gone south this spring for the talented forward.

On April 1, Swanson was struck in the throat during a Red Stars loss against Houston; however, she was able to remain in the game.

Things got a lot worse on April 8. Swanson, playing for the USWNT, sustained what appeared to be a neck injury when her head made contact with the goalkeeper in a 2-0 win over Ireland  in Austin, Texas. She initially stayed in the game, but had to be taken off the field on a stretcher in the 40th minute for what was diagnosed as a torn patella tendon in her left knee.

As of April 9, there was no word about a timeline for her return, but there is speculation that she will miss the World Cup.

“The Chicago Red Stars have been in communication with U.S. Soccer since the injury,” said a statement from the Red Stars. “We fully support Mallory as she returns to Chicago to rest.”

She has been replaced on the U.S. team roster by Alyssa Thompson.

“We were going to keep her off the field,” Andonovski said after the match, referring to the plan after Thompson collided with the Irish goalkeeper. “But she felt good and everything was fine, so she was back on the field.”

Andonovski denied Swanson had sustained a brain injury.

“No, her brain was very good, even after the second injury when she was going off the field,” he said. “She had a big smile on her face and said, ‘Coach, I’m good. I promise I’ll be good.’

“I said ‘Okay, you are stronger than me.’’’

 

Red Stars lose to Mexico
While Swanson and other Red Stars standouts were playing friendlies for international teams, Chicago dropped a 5-2 friendly to the Mexican Women’s National Team on April 8 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

Julia Bianchi and Sarah Griffith scored for the Red Stars while Jenna Bike had an assist.

The Red Stars (0-2-0) return to NWSL action at 7 p.m. on April 15, hosting Kansas City (0-2-0).

 

Fire II loses first game
This Chicago Fire II fell to 2-1-0 with a 1-0 setback to defending league champion Columbus on April 9 at SeatGeek Stadium in an MLS NEXT Pro game.

Columbus (1-0-1) scored in the 88th minute to take the victory.

The Fire hosts the Philadelphia Union II at 6 p.m. on April 16.

 

Free Jacks beat Hounds
The misery continues for the Chicago Hounds in the Major Rugby League.

The expansion team fell to 1-6-0 after a 31-19 road loss to New England on April 8.

They also lost vice-captain Luke Beauchamp, who came off the field with a shoulder injury in the seventh minute of the match.

JP Eloff, Luke White and Hugh Roach scored tries for the Hounds. The Free Jacks improved to 5-2-0 and are on top of the Eastern Conference.

The Hounds visit San Diego (6-1-0) at 3 p.m. on April 16 at Snapdragon Stadium.

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