The North Carolina Courage have announced that Brazilian star Kerolin Nicoli has torn her right ACL, which will see her miss a substantial amount of time.

The 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder tore the ACL in her right knee in the regular-season finale against the Washington Spirit. It comes at a terrible time for her after she claimed the NWSL Golden Boot runner-up award and was an MVP candidate for her breakout season for the Courage.

Despite missing time to represent Brazil in the international arena, she still scored ten goal and registered three assists in the NWSL. In doing so, she became the third-ever Brazilian and fourth-ever Courage player to record double-digit goals in a single NWSL season. 

Voted the league’s best player in Week 11 after a hat-trick against the Chicago Red Stars, she was named in the NWSL Best XI of the Month for both June and September/October.

“The North Carolina Courage have placed forward Kerolin Nicoli on the season-ending injury list, as announced by the club on Saturday,” an official club statement read.

“The 23-year-old Brazilian superstar tore her right ACL during the Courage win over the Washington Spirit in Sunday’s regular season finale.”

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The injury to Kerolin saw her ruled out of last weekend’s NWSL playoffs, as the Courage exited the playoffs after a 2-0 defeat to NJ/NY Gotham FC. During the game, it was easily seen that Kerolin was missed as the Courage failed to break through Gotham’s press. Their opponents suffocated them in defence, leaving little opportunity to score.

Without Kerolin, Gotham was able to foil their attack continually and manage to disrupt their possession with the ball, which saw the Courage finish with a 71 per cent passing accuracy – a decrease from their 82.5 per cent season average.

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