Two-time USWNT World Cup winner Kelli O'Hara is set to retire at the end of the 2024 NWSL season

U.S. women's national team and Gotham FC defender Kelli O'Hara has announced that she plans to retire from soccer after the 2024 NFL season. O'Hara, a powerhouse player for more than a decade, has played in four World Cup finals (winning two in 2015 and 2019) and three Olympics with the national team, in addition to adding a WPS championship and two NWSL championships to her professional career.

She announced the decision in a video created for Just Women's Sports as part of its Kelley on the Street series.

O'Hara has played limited minutes for Gotham so far this season and has struggled with ankle and knee injuries. “Being injured and coming back, getting injured and coming back, and continuing to do it, really takes a toll on you,” she told Claire Watkins in an interview. Interview with JWS.

O'Hara's international debut for the USWNT came in March 2010, and while she was named to the 2011 World Cup roster, she broke out with the USWNT during the team's gold medal run at the 2012 London Olympics, playing every minute as an outside linebacker. . She previously won the 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy as a forward at Stanford (she scored 26 goals and added 13 assists), but it was the switch to outside linebacker that cemented her place on the national team for years.

(It's worth noting that the 2012 Olympics were also the source of one of the greatest pieces of old-school content for the USWNT featuring O'Hara – in which she stated that “Sniped“After being swept onto the lawn of a Scottish castle pretending to ride brooms.)

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O'Hara's final match for the national team was against Sweden during the team's exit from the World Cup last summer in the round of 16. Due to injury concerns, there were doubts that O'Hara would be named in the final 23-man roster. tournament, and when she received a phone call from former coach Vlatko Andonovski, the emotions were palpable.

She played more than 10,000 minutes with the national team, participating in 160 matches, scoring three goals and providing 21 assists. One of her most famous goals in the USWNT was the goal she scored Against Germany in the 2015 World Cup semi-final. It was also her first international goal.

O'Hara's club career was also successful, starting with her rookie season in the WPS with FC Gold Pride, winning the 2010 championship. When FC Gold Pride folded, O'Hara was signed by the Boston Breakers. She intended to play for the Atlanta Beat, her hometown's WPS team, but the league shut down. O'Hara has been with the NWSL since the beginning, starting her NWSL career with Sky Blue FC, before a stint with the first edition of Utah Royals FC, then heading to the Washington Spirit – where she finally won her first NWSL Championship in 2021. In January 2023, signed with Gotham, who won last year's final.

“It has been my greatest pleasure to represent my country and wear the USA Soccer logo,” O’Hara said in the USWNT’s press release on Thursday. “As I close this chapter of my life, I am grateful. Looking back on my career, I am so grateful for all the things I have been able to achieve, but more importantly the people I have been able to achieve them with.

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As of now, neither USA Soccer nor Gotham have shared any intended plans to celebrate O'Hara ahead of her retirement before the end of the 2024 season, though USA Soccer could opt to take advantage of their July matchup at Red Bull Arena to send it off. -on.

(Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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