England captain Leah Williamson to miss USWNT clash due to injury

England will be without captain Leah Williamson for Friday’s clash against the United States at Wembley.

The FA announced on Tuesday that Serena Wiegman had called up Lotte Wubbon-Moy and Nikita Parris to the squad due to injury concerns over Williamson and Lucy Parker. At the time, Parker had been sent back to her club West Ham United to recover, but Williamson had stayed with the squad as they monitored the injury she picked up in training.

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“Leah’s a great leader and of course we’ll miss her,” England’s Chloe Kelly said at a news conference on Tuesday.

“We have such great depth in our squad and such great strength in our squad. There’s so many great leaders with experience so it’s all about coming together in these moments when you do lose a player like Leah and supporting Leah now in her rehab.”

But later on Tuesday the FA released a statement, saying: “Following assessment on an injury sustained in training, Leah Williamson will leave the England senior women’s squad and return to Arsenal for her rehabilitation.”

The news comes as a bitter blow to England who are already without striker Alessia Russo after she withdrew from the squad on Monday due to injury.

Williamson captained England to their triumph at the summer’s Euro 2022. Her absence means the Lionesses will be led out by a new skipper when they face the USWNT at a sold-out Wembley on Friday.

ESPN’s Sophie Lawson contributed to this report.