Vineland native Jill Loyden’s stint with the U.S. women’s national soccer team came to an abrupt halt Thursday after she broke a bone in her left hand during training at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Loyden will miss as long as three months, according to her National Women’s Soccer League team Sky Blue FC
The injury came one day after Lloyden earning a 3-0 shutout for the U.S. women’s team over Iceland in the cup opener. The 2002 Press Girls Soccer Player of the Year suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal bone.
Loyden, who was allocated to Sky Blue in January, broke a different bone in the same hand during USWNT training camp in January 2011. She was the third-string goalkeeper for the U.S. in the 2010 Women’s World Cup.
“It’s certainly unfortunate, but I’ve already overcome this injury before so I have no doubt it will heal and I’ll be able to join the U.S. team again soon,” the 27-year-old said in a statement Thursday. “I know that the other goalkeepers will step up because they are phenomenal players.”
With U.S. women’s team starter Hope Solo out with a wrist injury, the team will turn to Nicole Barnhart and Ashlyn Harris for the remaining three games of the Algarve Cup.
Loyden will miss at least half of the NWSL season with Sky Blue FC, which begins play in April at Rutgers University.
“We are really disappointed for Jill,” coach Jim Gabarra said in a statement released by the team. “Sky Blue FC will do all we can to support her rehab process, and once healthy, we look forward to her continued development as a top-level professional and U.S. National Team goalkeeper.”
Loyden will leave Portugal today to consult with a hand specialist to determine if surgery is necessary.
“I’m going to be working hard to try to get back for as much of the NWSL season as possible,” Loyden said. “In the meantime, I’ll be supporting my teammates for club and country and doing my best to get totally healthy and ready to play.”