After 16 months away from soccer, FC Kansas City’s Amy LePeilbet had come to accept the possibility of soccer career being over.
LePeilbet, who was acquired through an offseason trade with the Chicago Red Stars, had been having trouble with her left knee for about two years. Still, she decided to push through in hopes of making the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Olympic teams.
Then, after making both teams, she waited until after the Olympics to get a scope which is when she received the shocking news that her ACL was essentially non-functional. Shortly thereafter, LePeilbet had the knee surgically repaired.
On Wednesday night, her long wait to return to the game came to an end when she subbed in during the 84th minute of FC Kansas City’s 1-0 home victory against the Western New York Flash.
“It was awesome to get out there with those girls,” LePeilbet said. “It was an unbelievable privilege for me to get back out there because I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.”
FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski said he is now looking forward to extending LePeilbet’s playing time.
She’ll get her next chance on Friday at 7 p.m. when the Blues will play host to the Boston Breakers at UMKC’s Durwood Stadium. It will be the second matchup with the Breakers in the last three games. The Blues beat Boston 2-0 on May 25.
LePeilbet joins a defense that has allowed just one goal in the last three games after giving up 15 in the first nine matches. Nicole Barnhart has recorded back-to-back shutouts.
Amy Rodriguez scored the Blues’ lone goal against the Flash, extending a three-game scoring streak. Rodriguez is tied with Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little for the National Women’s Soccer League with nine goals.