During the Orlando Pride’s first day of preseason training on Monday, second-year Pride defender McKenzie Berryhill spent most of the session on the sideline. She was working individually with a coach on fitness, doing core-related activities.
Pride head coach Tom Sermanni told media after training that Berryhill did not pass her medical examinations on Saturday at Orlando Health, keeping her out of training. The issues involved a series of concussions she sustained during her playing time at Arizona State University.
“The situation with McKenzie is that she didn’t pass her medical on Saturday. She’s had a series of concussions previously at college,” Sermanni said after training Monday. “You know that’s an issue that’s very both sensitive and complex when dealing with how we can clear her.
“So, the situation currently is that her doctors don’t feel that they’re able to clear her because of those concussions.”
The Pride are currently communicating with ASU to gather more information on how Berryhill and the team should proceed.
“We’re getting more information from her college to find out. We’re getting information from ASU, and depending on that information will be dependent on what the decisions are from our doctors,” Sermanni said. “But, on this, I’m very much under the advice from the doctors. So it’s not an issue where I’ve got really any input at all. It’s not like I’m dealing with somebody’s that maybe got a bad ankle or a bad hamstring.
“A concussion’s something that we need to treat very, very carefully.”
Berryhill joined the Pride late last season, being picked up off of waivers on Aug. 30. She ws originally drafted by the Portland Thorns with the 21st-overall pick in the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft. She didn’t make any appearances for the Pride in 2016.
The Pride will play their first preseason friendly against Stetson University in a closed-door session on March 18.