USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher ruled out for bronze medal match vs. Australia

Alyssa Naeher, the goalkeeper who saved the U.S. women's national soccer team in the Olympic quarterfinals, will not play another minute in Tokyo after injuring her right knee, U.S. Soccer announced.

Naeher landed awkwardly in the 22nd minute of a 1-0 semifinal loss to Canada on Monday that sent the USWNT to the bronze medal match. She attempted to stay in the game and did so for eight minutes, but was subbed off and replaced by Adrianna Franch.

Naeher hyperextends right knee

USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher hyperextended her right knee during the semifinal. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)
USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher hyperextended her right knee during the semifinal. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Naeher, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, suffered a hyperextension of her right knee and a bone contusion, per U.S. Soccer. An MRI showed no ligament damage, the organization said, but she will be unavailable for the match against Australia (4 a.m. ET, USA Network) on Thursday.

“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to be on the field Thursday with my teammates competing for a medal, but I know this group will bounce back from a tough loss,” Naeher said. “I can’t wait to watch them fight for a bronze medal and I will be here to support the team in any way I can to help us get it done."

Naeher will likely be sidelined for several weeks. The Red Stars host the Orlando Pride on Sunday, the day of closing ceremonies, and travel to the North Carolina Courage on Aug. 15. Chicago is third in the standings behind Portland and Gotham FC. The season wraps up in late September.

The 2019 World Cup champion was crucial in the quarterfinal win against the Netherlands. Naeher saved a penalty kick in regulation that gave the USWNT life in extra time. When it went to a penalty shootout, she started by saving Vivianne Miedema on the first attempt. She later stopped Aniek Nouwen to set up the Americans' win and chance at a medal.

Who is goalkeeper Adrianna Franch?

Franch was on the 2019 World Cup team as the third goalkeeper and has made seven appearances for the senior national team. She has two clean sheets.

In seven games for the NWSL's Portland Thorns this season, she has 16 saves in seven starts and has allowed six goals. Franch was the first goalkeeper drafted in NWSL history at No. 6 overall in 2013. She was named the goalkeeper of the year in 2017 and 2018, and was named CONCACAF goalkeeper of the year in '17.

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