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Mallory Swanson finishes 2023 as USWNT’s top scorer despite not playing since April

One of the biggest “What-ifs” for the United States women’s national team in 2023 is what would the year have looked like if star forward Mallory Swanson didn’t suffer a knee injury in April.

During a friendly against Republic of Ireland Swanson’s 2023 World Cup dreams were shattered after suffering a gruesome tear to the patellar tendon in her left knee. She hasn’t played for the USWNT or the Chicago Red Stars since.

Fans might forget that Swanson was the USWNT’s brightest star before her injury with a remarkable goal scoring run. The 25-year-old had scored in each of her last six USWNT games heading into that friendly vs. Ireland.

The biggest testament to how vital Swanson was in the USWNT’s attack is the fact that she finished 2023 as the team’s highest goal scorer despite only playing in six of the 18 total games.

USWNT top scorers 2023

  • Mallory Swanson: 7
  • Trinity Rodman: 5
  • Lindsey Horan: 5
  • Sophia Smith: 3
  • Lynn Williams: 3
  • Alex Morgan: 2
  • Rose Lavelle: 2
  • Jaedyn Shaw: 2

The stats speak for themselves, the USWNT desperately need Swanson back in the team.

When will Mal Swanson return?

Swanson had a successful surgery for her torn patellar tendon shortly after her injury. The estimated recovery time for that injury can be anywhere between six-to-12 months.

As of December, it’s been about eight months. Swanson will eye a return in early 2024 and she’s been providing updates via Instagram.

On Oct. 15 Swanson revealed that she was back in training with the Chicago Red Stars.

Fast forward a month and Swanson wrote in an Instagram caption that she was “back in action” and “incredibly excited to get back to the game I love.”

Swanson’s contract with the Red Stars expired at the end of the 2023 season making her a free agent. Many people predict she will re-sign with the club to stay in Chicago where her husband, Dansby, plays with the Chicago Cubs.

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