The workload in soccer has become a serious issue for players in the NWSL. Even one of the best coaches in the world, Pep Guardiola, complained of congested schedules, taking a dig at UEFA and FIFA. But it looks like the problem has moved to the USA in the form of extra game time in matches. After the recent injuries to crucial USWNT players like Jaedyn Shaw and Naomi Girma, the issue is now considered severe by the experts. These injuries could be a setback considering how near the Olympics are.

The unwanted time addition may have been one reason Girma, and a few other players faced the injuries. Journalist Sandra Herrera brought this forward on the Attacking Third podcast. She said, “Maybe the heavy regularity of week-to-week matches combining, balancing duty for club and the country, kind of the extra minutes’ load perhaps, maybe playing on the hamstrings or playing on muscular things. But it’s not something you want to see,” when asked about the injuries in the USWNT defense.

USA Today via Reuters

Additionally, the focus was on the muscular wounds related to the regular excess minutes that could be equivalent to at ‘least an extra game’ until now, felt the columnist. Girma, who already suffered a thigh injury during the SheBelieves Cup last month, played a couple of games in between but is once again sidelined reportedly because of a similar concern. Other defenders, Abby Dahlkemper and Tierna Davidson are also reported to have a thigh concern.


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Surprisingly, USWNT forward Jaedyn Shaw also withdrew during the stoppage time of the last match after she was claimed to have landed on her ankle. While most games had received at least 8 minutes of added time in the previous game week, the match between Portland Thorns and the Seattle Reign touched the 14-minute mark. And now, with the players being affected, the arriving new coach Emma Hayes is expected to have a tough time for the Paris Olympics starting in July. However, according to the former star, the issue is not just a USWNT problem.

Sam Mewis calls out insane injury time in NWSL

NWSL itself is a brand now. However, the premier women’s soccer tournament needs to reconsider the injury time during the matches. Former USWNT star Sam Mewis and Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn took this up on the Women’s Game Podcast. Mewis reportedly said, “We’re seeing like an extra nine minutes, an extra eleven minutes. Some matches have upwards of 20 minutes of stoppage time. Doing that in this heat now with this weather starting up in America it’s going to be really hard,” to which Sauerbrunn agreed without a doubt.

Moreover, Mewis blamed the VAR checks and humorously suggested that the game could be cut short in case of extra heat. Meanwhile, it’s the USWNT that is facing the heat of injuries. The 4-time Olympic gold medalists missed out in 2021 but will now aim to regain the glory. However, with increased stress because of the NWSL, it will be interesting to see how the unit copes under Hayes.

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Ruthu is a Soccer writer at EssentiallySports. He found a passion for the sport through the remarkable 2002 World Cup-winning Brazilian team. Ruthu’s understanding of the intricacies of the sport allows him to churn out unique perspectives that his readers find engaging and insightful.
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Edited by

Jacob Gijy