LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau sustained a broken leg in the collision that knocked him out of the club’s MLS Cup victory over the Philadelphia Union, the team said Sunday, announcing that he underwent successful surgery to repair the fracture.
The recovery from surgery will keep Crepeau out of the World Cup later this month in Qatar, where he was expected to play for Canada, and will sideline him for the start of the MLS regular season in February.
Crepeau was injured during the second extra-time period Saturday at Banc of California Stadium when he came off his line to challenge Philadelphia’s Cory Burke, who had come free on a breakaway and only had the goalkeeper to beat. The pair tangled near the top of the penalty area, with Crepeau drawing a red card before leaving the field on a cart. He would be replaced by backup keeper John McCarthy, a journeyman who played just one MLS game this season.
McCarthy did not allow a goal in the tiebreaking penalty-kick shootout, earning most-valuable-player honors in LAFC’s victory. He credited Crepeau’s instincts on the play in which he was injured for the win.
“That’s the play of the game for me,” McCarthy said. “If he comes out and slides and misses, it’s 3-2 and who knows how the game is going to end. But he made a big-time decision by coming out and making that play.”
Crepeau, 28, came to LAFC from the Vancouver Whitecaps in January in exchange for $1 million in allocation money. He had career highs in games and starts (33) as well as shutouts (10, including the playoffs) while giving up just 36 goals. He has 15 caps for Canada, which will be playing in the World Cup this fall for just the second time.
“I’m absolutely devastated for him,” McCarthy said.
The recovery time for injuries that Crepeau sustained is about four to six months. The injury was so gruesome that Fox Sports, which was broadcasting the game, did not show replays.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.