By CAITLIN MURRAY
In what Southampton FC is calling a “nasty injury,” U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper took a blow to the head Monday and was taken to the hospital.
Less than two minutes into a U-21 match against Fulham at Motspur Park, Cropper came out to challenge Dean O’Halloran for the ball, taking a “heavy blow” to the head, according to the Daily Echo.
The match was stopped for nearly 10 minutes as he was evaluated on-field. He was taken to the hospital for scans to determine the extent of the injury.
By Tuesday, Cropper, 21, still had not been cleared as teammate Jack Cork told Southampton’s website he was thinking of Cropper.
“It was hard to get going because of what happened with Cody in the first couple of minutes,” Cork said of the result, a 2-1 win for the Saints, on Southampton’s website. “I hope he’s alright because it looked really serious.”
Southampton coach Martin Hunter said Cropper’s injury had dampened his side’s victory and the team was pulling for Cropper to recover quickly.
“Unfortunately there have been two bad injuries, one to Cody and unfortunately their number eight has fractured his ankle, so that’s put a sour note on what was a good performance,” Hunter told the club’s website. “All our thoughts are with Cody at the moment.”
A fixture of U.S. Soccer’s youth program, Cropper received his first senior U.S. Men’s National Team call-up in August but trained with the USMNT before that as an unrostered player for the pre-World Cup camp at Stanford.
Expected to be a piece of the U-23 squad at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Cropper extended his time in England in July by signing a one-year deal with Southampton.