Ex-USWNT trainer rings alarms around growing ACL problem

    Arsenal striker Beth Mead is the latest in a long line of women’s soccer players to sustain an ACL injury. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

    Former U.S. women’s national team fitness coach Dawn Scott has raised the alarm over ACL injuries in women’s soccer.

    “We NEED research to explore such information — an increasing number of ACL injuries are not a good statistic,” Scott tweeted on Nov. 12. Her warning seems particularly prescient two weeks later, as England star Beth Mead ruptured her ACL in a Women’s Super League match Saturday.

    Scott worked with the Lionesses as their head of sport science from 2001-10, then returned as their senior physical performance manager from 2019-21. Between those stints with England, she served as the USWNT’s high performance manager, helping the U.S. to two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal.

    She spent a year as performance director for Inter Miami CF of the MLS before leaving earlier this month to serve in the same role for the Washington Spirit of the NWSL.

    Her experience with women’s and men’s teams gives her important perspective on the increased risk of ACL injuries for women athletes.

    One in 19 women playing soccer rupture their ACL, per a 2019 study, and women are two to eight times more likely to experience an ACL tear than men, per research cited by the Yale School of Medicine in 2020.

    Scott pointed to the need for research specific to women athletes, from the “grassroots to the elite level,” especially in terms of training methods. Women and men have “physiological, psychological, biomechanical and hormonal differences,” she said, and more must be done to make sure women are getting the proper training and care.

    “Are we supporting players in relation to lifestyle, nutrition, psychology, biomechanics, sleep and movement profiling?” she continued.

    Scott’s questions come amid a rash of ACL injuries at the highest levels of women’s soccer.

    Players who have injured their ACLs in 2022 include: USWNT’s Tierna Davidson, Catarina Macario and Christen Press; France’s Dzsenifer Marozsán and Marie-Antionette Katoto.; Spain’s Alexia Putellas; England’s Beth Mead; Australia’s Ellie Carpenter; Brazil’s Marta; and Denmark’s Nadia Nadim.

    That list — which includes Ballon d’Or winner Putellas, runner-up Mead, and two more nominees in Macario and Katoto — would make An impressive World Cup roster in its own right. Instead, all these players are in a race against the clock to recover in time for the 2023 World Cup, which is set to kick off July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

    The post Ex-USWNT trainer rings alarms around growing ACL problem appeared first on Just Women's Sports.

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