WASHINGTON (AP) — D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola will have surgery Monday to repair his right ACL and is likely to miss the entire Major League Soccer season and the United States’ first six qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup.
The 25-year-old midfielder was injured Feb. 15 during D.C. United’s preseason match against Orlando in Tampa, Florida.
D.C. United said Saturday that team physician Dr. Chris Annunziata of OrthoVirginia will operate. Arriola is expected to be sidelined for up to nine months. That timetable makes it unlikely he would be fully fit and in top form until 2021.
Arriola has been a regular starter for the U.S. national team under coach Gregg Berhalter. Arriola has five goals in 33 international appearances.
After failing to reach the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. starts qualifying for the 2022 tournament this year. The Americans have two matches each in September, October and November, then complete qualifying with two games apiece in March and September 2021.