D.C. United defender Brad Smith is out for up to nine months after tearing his left ACL during their Week 19 match at the Philadelphia Union, the club announced Sunday.

Smith will soon undergo reconstruction surgery, and the recovery timeline leaves him sidelined through potentially the early portions of the 2023 MLS season. The injury also means Smith, part of Australia’s player pool, is ruled out of contention for the Qatar 2022 World Cup after the Socceroos beat Peru in an intercontinental playoff.

The left back subbed on in the 42nd minute of D.C. United’s eventual 7-0 loss at Subaru Park, only to then exit in the 67th minute after getting injured. Without Smith, who had one assist in 16 matches (14 starts) this year, the club’s depth will be further tested.

Smith, 28, is in his first Black-and-Red season, joining in the offseason after the club transferred homegrown Kevin Paredes to German Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg. He arrived in a trade from Seattle Sounders FC for $750,000 in General Allocation Money and a sell-on fee. The Liverpool product has been in MLS since 2018.

D.C. United, at their 2022 season’s halfway point, sit 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. They’re seeking a first Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance since 2019.