Forward Alex Morgan will miss the U.S. national team’s first two warmup games for next month’s women’s World Cup with what is being called a bone bruise in her left knee. The U.S. plays Ireland on Sunday in San Jose before meeting Mexico on May 17 at StubHub Center in Carson.
“We’re just being cautionary with it,” U.S. Coach Jill Ellis said. “She’s going to sort of rest the next couple of weeks. We’re just kind of taking it conservatively.
“At this point, we just feel that it’s better just to let it rest because we can. We’re not in a World Cup. It’s still three weeks away.”
Morgan did not accompany the team to San Jose, staying behind in Southern California instead to consult with a doctor. But she is expected to be in uniform and on the bench Sunday.
Morgan sustained the injury, originally called a contusion, a month ago while playing with the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League. Ellis said the injury is not related to the ankle problems that limited Morgan to just four starts with the national team in 2014.
Also sidelined for Sunday’s game is midfielder Tobin Heath, who has a strained hamstring. Heath did not work out with the rest of the team Friday, instead running sprints on her own. Ellis said it’s possible she could appear in next weekend’s Mexico game.
“She’s progressing well,” Ellis said. “Probably further along than I thought at this point.”
A sellout crowd of approximately 18,000 is expected for Sunday’s game in San Jose. A U.S. Soccer official said ticket sales for next week’s game at StubHub Center have also been brisk, with a crowd of more than 20,000 expected.