USWNT’s Kelley O’Hara, a two-time World Cup champion, plans to retire after the end of the 2024 NWSL season

USWNT’s Kelley O’Hara, a two-time World Cup champion, plans to retire after the end of the 2024 NWSL season

U.S. Women’s National Team and Gotham FC defender Kelli O’Hara has announced her plans to retire from soccer after the 2024 NWSL season. O’Hara has been with her national team for more than a decade, competing in four world championships (winning twice in 2015 and 2019) and three Olympic appearances. Additionally, she won the WPS Championship once and the NWSL Championship twice during her professional career.

She announced her decision in a video produced for Just Women`s Sports as part of the Kelley on the Street series.

O’Hara has been plagued by injuries to her ankle and knee this season, leaving her with limited playing time for Gotham FC. “To get injured and come back, and get injured and come back, and just keep doing it, it really takes a toll on you,” she told Claire Watkins in an interview on JWS.

O’Hara received her first cap for the USWNT in March 2010. Although she was included in the squad for the 2011 World Cup, O’Hara really came into her own during the team’s gold medal run at the 2012 London Olympics, where she played every minute as an outside back. Her transition to outside back solidified her spot on the national team for years, but she had previously won the 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy as a striker at Stanford (scoring 26 goals and dishing out 13 assists).

(Notably, the 2012 Olympics were also the source of some great old-school USWNT content featuring O’Hara, in which she appeared on the lawn of a Scottish castle (pretending to ride in a car) reported being “got sniped” after being killed (with a broomstick).

Her last game for O’Hara’s national team was in the round of 16 against Sweden, where the team was eliminated in the last 16 of last summer’s World Cup. There were doubts as to whether O’Hara would be selected for the tournament’s final 23-player squad due to her injury concerns, but her emotions upon receiving the call from her former head coach Vlatko Andonovskii was obvious.

She played over 10,000 minutes for her national team, appearing in 160 games and recording 3 goals and 21 assists. One of her most famous goals for the USWNT is the goal she scored in the 2015 World Cup semi-final against Germany. This was also her first international goal.

O’Hara’s club career was also successful, starting her rookie season in the WPS with FC Gold Pride, winning the championship in 2010. When FC Gold Pride failed, O’Hara signed with the Boston Breakers. She was set to play for the local WPS team, the Atlanta Beat, but the league was canceled. O’Hara has been in the NWSL since the beginning, starting her NWSL career with Sky Blue FC, before playing for her first Utah Royals FC, then moving to Washington Spirit, where she eventually won her first NWSL championship in January 2021. For 2023, she signed with Gotham, who won the finals last year.

“It has been one of the greatest joys to represent my country and to wear the U.S. Soccer crest,” O’Hara said in the USWNT press release on Thursday. “As I close this chapter of my life, I am filled with gratitude. Looking back on my career I am so thankful for all the things I was able to accomplish but most importantly the people I was able to accomplish them with.”

Currently, both U.S. Soccer and Gotham have communicated their intention to celebrate O’Hara, who will retire by the end of the 2024 season, but U.S. Soccer plans to use the July game at Red Bull Arena as a farewell party. may choose to do so.

Topics #2024 NWSL season #Kelley OHara #USWNT #World Cup #WPS Championship

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