The Orlando Pride announced today that Marta has been placed on the season-ending injury list. The team captain suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear on March 26 in North Carolina, forcing the midfielder off the field for the remainder of the season.
The injury occurred in the 19th minute when Denise O’Sullivan and Marta went after a long clearance by Megan Montefusco. O’Sullivan didn’t make much contact with Marta, but the midfielder was clearly in pain when she came down on her left leg, resulting in the injury.
The Brazilian remained on the ground for two minutes as the medical team evaluated the situation. Comforted by teammates Sydney Leroux and Gunny Jonsdottir, the audience could hear loud sobs as she was in clear distress.
Eventually, Marta attempted to come back onto the field and give it a go. However, after heading a ball in the Courage box, she went down again grabbing her left knee. That was her final appearance of the season as she was unable to resume and was replaced by Mikayla Cluff.
“We’re absolutely heartbroken for Marta,” Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said about the injury in a club press release. “She’s an incredible leader and we’ll of course miss that on the field this season. But if you know anything about Marta, she will face this challenge head on like she does with each training or game, and we know she’ll do all she can to continue leading the team off the field. We look forward to helping her through this recovery so she’s back even stronger.”
The club said that Marta will undergo surgery at the Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute. The procedure will be done by Dr. Craig Mintzer, the club’s chief medical officer and head orthopedic surgeon.
Marta joined the Pride during the 2017 NWSL season. She started the first two games of this year’s Challenge Cup, playing all 90 minutes against the Washington Spirit and the first 31 minutes against North Carolina before getting injured.
In total, Marta has made 84 appearances and 78 starts for the Pride — third most all-time behind Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger. Her 27 goals and 14 assists for the club are the most in team history. After Harris and Krieger were traded this off-season to NJ/NY Gotham FC, Marta was named captain by new Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell.