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Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn’s injury history


Lindsey Vonn is certainly no stranger to crashes and injury.

Over the course of her career, the American has made frequent trips from the slope to the hospital with varying degrees of damage to her body.

Here is a brief synopsis of Vonn’s injury history:

2017-18 World Cup: Vonn jarred her back in a Dec. 9 super-G, calling the injury an acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction. She gingerly walked with aid to congratulate the race winner, then skipped the following day’s race before returning to the World Cup circuit the following week.

2016-17 World Cup: On Nov. 10, Vonn suffers a severely fractured humerus bone in her right arm in a training crash in Copper Mountain, Colo. The injury requires surgery.

Vonn had hoped to make her season debut either two or three weeks later, but her latest setback puts her return into question as well as her pursuit of the career World Cup wins record. She’s at 76, needing 10 more to reach Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn won eight and nine races the last two seasons.

2015-16 World Cup: In New Zealand preseason training Aug. 13, Vonn crashed and fractured an ankle. She missed the World Cup opener Oct. 24 but returned for the following giant slalom Nov. 27.

On Feb. 27, Vonn crashed in a super-G in Andorra, was taken off the course in a sled and learned she suffered one hairline left knee fracture. She raced the next day, finishing 13th in a super combined.

Two days after that, Vonn underwent more scans that showed she suffered three, larger fractures rather than the one hairline, forcing her to end her season while leading the World Cup overall standings, eight races from a possible fifth World Cup overall title.

2013-14 World Cup: While preparing to come back from knee surgery at Beaver Creek, Vonn crashed during a training run at Copper Mountain, Colo. She was taken off the slope on a sled and underwent an MRI and said she sustained a mild strain and partial tear of the ACL in her right knee, minor facial abrasions and scapular contusions from her fall.

It turned out that she had a complete ACL tear, which she compounded with MCL and joint damage when she skied out of the downhill in Val d’Isere on Dec. 21. On Jan. 7, Vonn was forced to withdraw from the Sochi Olympics and didn’t return to World Cup action until December 2014.

2013 World Championships: In her opening race in Schladming, Austria, Vonn crashed hard during the super-G and needed to be airlifted off the mountain to a nearby hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with tears of the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in her right knee and a fractured tibial plateau, all of which resulted in season-ending surgery.

2011 World Championships: One week before the start of competition, Vonn crashed during giant slalom training in Kintereit, Austria. Although she walked away from the incident with no major injuries, she did suffer a concussion in the collision. After much debate, she decided to compete in Garmish-Partenkirchen where she finished second in the downhill and seventh in super-G.

2010 Olympics: Vonn came to the Vancouver Games banged up, having bruised her right shin during pre-Olympic workouts in Austria. Putting on a ski boot resulted in “excruciating” pain, but she competed through it and won gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G. Vonn crashed during the giant slalom, breaking her right pinkie, and then crashed out of the slalom run of the super-combined competition.

2009-10 World Cup: Just weeks before the Olympics, Vonn suffered a violent crash during her first giant slalom run in Lienz, Austria. She was taken to the hospital where doctors diagnosed her with swelling and microfractures in her left forearm. She continued to ski after the injury.

2009 World Championships: In perhaps the most bizarre injury of Vonn’s career, she sliced open her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating her victory in the downhill in Val d’Isere, France. The incident left her with a cut tendon, which required surgery, but did not prevent her from skiing the remainder of that season. She went on to earn nine World Cup podium finishes.

2007 World Championships: The technical events continued to cause Vonn trouble in Are, Sweden where she crashed in a slalom training run and suffered a season-ending ACL sprain. Fortunately for her, she won silver medals in the downhill and super-G prior to the crash.

2006 Olympics: Vonn’s second Olympic appearance did not get off to a good start as she crashed during a downhill training run and was airlifted by helicopter off the mountain in Torino. The incident left her with a bruised hip but did not knock her from the Games. Two days later, she finished eighth in the downhill.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

Carli Lloyd ranks Olympic final-winning goals, World Cup hat trick

Carli Lloyd
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Carli Lloyd learned something from scoring dramatic goals in the world’s biggest tournament finals.

Take a souvenir when it’s all over.

“You know, I was late to the boat on that one,” she said recently. “In 2015 World Cup, I grabbed the ball. Well, I did get a ball from 2008 and 2012 [Olympics], as well, but it wasn’t like the game ball. But from now on, if I score in the final, I’m stealing the ball.”

Lloyd hopes her next try at thievery will come at the Rio 2016 Olympics, where the U.S. women could go for a fourth straight gold medal. They’re favored to qualify for the Games at a CONCACAF tournament in February in Texas, where the two finalists earn Olympic spots.

Lloyd, one of three finalists for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award to be presented Jan. 11, is best known for scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes of the World Cup final July 5, a 5-2 win over Japan in a rematch of the 2011 final won by the Japanese.

Before that, Lloyd also netted all of the U.S. goals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold-medal games, the former against Brazil in extra time.

How does she rank those three feats?

“Obviously the 2015 No. 1, 2012 No. 2 and 2008 three,” Lloyd said. “They’ve all been stepping stones to get me to the 2015. It’s hard to kind of put in order because it’s like this evolution of continuing to improve. 2008, I was very inexperienced. 2012, I was more experienced, I was way more fit, but I was benched before [those Olympics]. So that posed a different challenge. … It’s almost like, after I finish each event, it’s like that was better than last year. That’s kind of the evolution of my career.”

Lloyd and the U.S. program will count on that progress in 2016.

She’s started 23 of the 24 total U.S. matches at the last two Olympics and two World Cups (coming off the bench in the 17th minute of the 2012 Olympic opener, scoring the game winner in a U.S. comeback and playing every minute the rest of the tournament).

No other American field player has started even one match at all four of those tournaments.

Olympic and World Cup teammates Abby WambachShannon BoxxLori Chalupny and Lauren Holiday have retired. One of Lloyd’s midfield partners, Megan Rapinoe, tore an ACL last week, eight months before the Rio Games.

“I’m now emerging as a leader on the team, someone who needs to take some of the younger players under their wing, has to command the offense, just really lead by example on and off the field and be someone who’s encouraging,” said Lloyd, who is 33 and two years older than any other regular U.S. starter in the field.

An August trip to Rio would not be her first Brazil visit. She scored five goals, including a hat trick, at the December 2014 Tournament of Brasilia, losing to Brazil in the final.

“It was awful,” she said. “We were in Brasilia. There was absolutely nothing there. … I’m looking forward to being in some other cities.”

Lloyd mapped out the rest of her career. Ideally, Olympic gold in Rio, another World Cup title in 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Games as her finale.

She described the Olympics and the World Cup as “completely the same.”

“I don’t want to say it’s not as hard to win an Olympics, but there’s less teams [12 versus 24 at the World Cup],” Lloyd said. “It’s not like the end-all, be-all for a soccer player. The World Cup is like the World Cup. And there’s a lot of teams, and it’s really hard to win it.”

One of her dream moments in the five months since the World Cup was speaking with Lionel Messi through a translator in Houston on Aug. 31.

See you in January, Messi told her, referencing the FIFA awards. Messi is one of three finalists for the men’s Player of the Year.

“It took scoring three goals in a World Cup final for people to actually see what I’ve been doing all these years,” Lloyd said. “I didn’t just emerge this World Cup. I’ve done things over the past, and for whatever reasons it’s just been flying under the radar.”

MORE SOCCER: U.S. women’s star tears ACL eight months before Rio

FIFA says soccer clubs don’t have to release players for Rio Olympics

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Soccer clubs are under no obligation to allow their players to play in the Rio Olympic men’s tournament, FIFA said Friday.

“The event is not part of the international match calendar,” FIFA said in a press release. “However, FIFA is asking for support from the clubs to allow players who are called up by their national teams to be given the chance to be part of the Olympic experience.”

The move could impact Brazil’s biggest sports star, Barcelona striker Neymar, who has said he’s made his intentions to play in the Olympic soccer tournament known to his club.

In 2012, FIFA ordered club teams to allow under-23 players to compete in the Olympics. In 2008, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Barcelona did not have to release Lionel Messi to compete in the Olympics, though Messi did end up winning gold with Argentina anyway.

In May, Brazil national team coach Dunga, who is also the under-23 Olympic team coach after the firing of Alexandre Gallo, said Neymar’s participation in the Rio Olympics was dependent on talks with Barcelona, according to O Globo.

Neymar may be the 2016 Olympic host nation’s most famous potential Olympian, but there is at least some question of whether he will suit up at the Rio Games.

Copa America Centenario is slated to take place from June 3-26. Soccer at the 2016 Olympics takes place from Aug. 3-20. Neymar plays for Barcelona in La Liga, whose season usually begins in late August. That would be a busy summer of national team duty, which may not sit well with Barcelona.

Three of the world’s other top players — Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Messi — also play internationally for nations that qualified for Rio 2016 (Portugal, Sweden and Argentina).

World Cup winner Germany also qualified for Rio.

Olympic soccer teams are made up of players aged 23 and under. There’s also an option of having three over-age players, which is where Neymar, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Messi would come in.

Some nations take greater advantage of the Olympic rule that allows three over-age players more than others. In 2012, Brazil used its exceptions on three exceptional players —HulkMarcelo and Thiago Silva — who started for Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil, which has won five World Cups, has never won Olympic gold in soccer. It won silver in 1984, 1988 and 2012 and bronze in 1996 and 2008.

Neymar, then 20, was part of the 2012 Olympic team that lost to Mexico in the final.

Also Friday, FIFA confirmed that the Qatar 2022 World Cup would not interfere with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, as the IOC has said for months.

The 2022 World Cup dates are Nov. 21-Dec. 18, which will coincide with various winter sports seasons.

MORE SOCCER: World Cup players left off U.S. Olympic soccer qualifying roster