Canadian international Lindsay Agnew has been sidelined by a broken foot.
The 26-year-old, who joined the North Carolina Courage last June, made the announcement on social media in advance of North Carolina’s 2-1 home opener loss to the Orlando Pride on Saturday.
Agnew, who can play fullback, wingback and forward, said she suffered the injury in training this week.
“I am very heartbroken about this unexpected curveball and the timing of it,” she wrote. “But I’m thankful for my family, friends and teammates for their support through the process.
“I’ll do everything I can to be back on the field as soon as possible.”
Agnew has 15 caps for Canada, most recently appearing at the SheBelieves Cup in February.
Canadian keepers shine
However, one Canadian who did see action during the Orlando-North Carolina game was veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod.
The 38-year-old native of St. Albert, Alta., was making her first regular-season appearance for the Pride.
After Sydney Leroux put Orlando up 1-0 in the 36th minute, McLeod made two crucial saves to keep her side ahead.
The first came early in the second, as McLeod parried a blistering shot from North Carolina’s Jessica McDonald. After the striker had been fed a dangerous through ball into the area, McLeod jumped into the air, her right hand getting just enough on McDonald’s shot to slap it over the bar.
The second was even more harrowing as McLeod fumbled a save. With the ball trickling toward goal, McLeod – on her back – managed to extend a hand to once again deny McDonald.
Erin McLeod comes up clutch for Orlando:
Fifteen minutes later, Alex Morgan doubled the Pride’s lead.
But, with minutes to go, McDonald finally managed to spoil McLeod’s shutout, evading her defenders to get off a shot from inside the six-yard box to make it 2-1.
Red Stars, Gotham split spoils
In later action, the Chicago Red Stars and Gotham FC battled to a nil-nil draw.
It was a much-needed point for Chicago, who endured a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Christine Sinclair and the Portland Thorns in their season-opener last week.
Gotham FC’s Kailen Sheridan preserves clean sheet against Red Stars:
While Chicago managed 13 shots, five on target, they were unable to beat Canada’s Kailen Sheridan, who recorded her second clean sheet of the campaign, having also shut out The Houston Dash last week.
The Whitby Ont., native came up clutch in the 28th minute, diving to the right; arm at full stretch to deny Kealia Watt a sure, highlight goal.
As for Gotham, they squandered the two best chances of the match with both Carli Lloyd and Canada’s Evelyne Viens hitting the crossbar.
While Lloyd’s chance came off of a shot, Viens rattled the bar with a header from near point-blank range, which then bounced dangerously back into play before being cleared to safety by a frantic Red Star defence.