US women's national team forward Alex Morgan has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship after suffering a left ankle sprain in the USA's 5-0 win against Guatemala on Friday night, US Soccer announced Saturday.
Morgan underwent an MRI on Saturday morning that confirmed the sprain, but revaled no additional damage. She will be out an estimated 4-6 weeks and cannot be replaced on the US roster, meaning the team will finish the tournament with 19 available players.
“We certainly feel for Alex and of course having her go down is a big loss to our team. But as I’ve often said, one of our strengths is depth and everyone on the roster is prepared to step up,” said US head coach Jill Ellis in a statement. “After talking with our medical staff and Alex, we all agreed that the best course of action for her is to head home to minimize travel and get into an environment where she can totally focus on recovery.”
Morgan, who has scored 49 goals in 77 matches for the USA and five goals in seven games in 2014, had started the USA’s first two games of the tournament, which also serves as CONCACAF's qualifying process for the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.
“It’s unfortunate timing, but I know my teammates will take care of business and qualify for the World Cup and I’ll be watching from my couch,” said Morgan in a statement. “I have plenty of time to get healthy with a longer break coming up for the team, so my job is to focus on the rehab and get back healthy as soon as I can.”
The USWNT next faces Haiti at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 20, with a berth in the semifinals all but secure. The two finalists and the winner of the third-place game will qualify for the Women's World Cup, while the fourth-placed team will face Ecuador in an intercontinental playoff for another spot.