Confirming reports from Euro 2017, Washington Spirit midfielder Line Sigvardsen Jensen has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. Sigvardsen Jensen had played every minute of the tournament up until getting caught in between two awkwardly falling Austrian players in Denmark’s eventual semifinal triumph. Without her, Denmark fell 4-2 in the final to the Netherlands.
Sigvardsen Jensen managed one goal and one assist across 568 minutes for the Spirit this season, stepping into a starting role after Joanna Lohman tore her ACL early in Washington’s season opener. Sigvardsen Jensen joins Lohman, Cali Farquharson, Caprice Dydasco, and Kelsey Wys as Spirit players to suffer a torn ACL in the last 10 months.
By adding Sigvardsen Jensen to the season-ending injury list - which, pending official confirmation, we presume will be the case here - Washington opens up a roster spot and an international spot. However, whether they receive salary cap relief is unclear due to the vagaries of NWSL rules:
Where the League determines that a Player has sustained an injury that will prohibit the Player from participating for at least 45 days during the League Season, it may provide the Team Roster relief, provided the full amount of the injured Player’s salary is charged to the Team’s Salary Cap in the relevant Season. Therefore, the Team is given Roster relief, but not Cap relief. Disabled List Replacement Players must be signed prior to the Roster Freeze Date.
In the event where a Team has two (2) or more Players on its Disabled List, Salary Cap relief may be considered by the League.
Either way, the injury leaves temporarily leaves Washington with 19 players on their roster. Striker Francisca Ordega, on the 45 day disabled list after a surgical procedure on her knee, seems like a probable choice to fill that spot once she returns. Still, that will be at least three weeks from now due to the 45 day stipulation, and with the roster freeze coming on August 29th, a move for another central midfielder can’t be ruled out.
In the meantime, Spirit original Tori Huster and rookie of the year candidate Meggie Dougherty Howard will carry on as Washington’s starting central midfield duo. For depth, though, Jim Gabarra would have to call on players who are not naturals for the job. Kristie Mewis, normally an attacking midfielder whose role these days is more second forward than anything else, seems like the most likely choice. Dydasco and center back Whitney Church have both played defensive midfield on occasion.