American Heather O’Reilly is retiring from the U.S. national team, ending one of the most successful international soccer careers.
“I have spent nearly half my life in a U.S. Soccer uniform, so making the decision to retire from international play was incredibly hard and emotional,” she said in a press release. “But quite simply, after 230 caps, thousands of practices, many trips around the world, and having played in three World Cups, and three Olympics, it just feels like the right time. I’ve had an incredibly complete career playing for my country and it has been an absolute honor to represent the USWNT for the last 15 years. I’m leaving this team with a lot happiness in my heart and pride for what we’ve accomplished. I truly love this game and it will be in my life forever. Now, I’m looking forward to being a USWNT fan. American Outlaws, where do I sign up?”
O’Reilly is one of four players to win three Olympic soccer gold medals, the others being teammates Christie Rampone, Heather Mitts and Shannon Boxx.
O’Reilly was the youngest member of the 2004 Athens Olympic team at age 19, after her freshman year at the University of North Carolina, and returned in 2008 and 2012.
O’Reilly played on the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Women’s World Cup teams, but her string of major-tournament appearances ended this year when she was named an alternate for the Olympics.
O’Reilly retires at age 31 with 230 national-team caps, seventh-most in U.S. history, including a U.S. record 74 straight matches played from 2007 to 2011.Follow @nzaccardi