Two-time USWNT World Cup winner Kelli O’Hara will retire at 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 after the 2024 NFL season. A powerhouse for more than a decade, O’Hara has played in four World Cup Finals (winning two in 2015 and 2019) and three Olympic Games with the national team, in addition to adding a WPS Championship and two NWSL Championships to her professional career. career.

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

O’Hara has played limited minutes for Gotham so far this season and has battled 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 although she was named to the 2011 World Cup squad, she broke out with the USWNT during the team’s gold medal run at the 2012 London Olympics, winning played 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 move to outside linebacker that solidified her place on the national team for years to come.

(It’s worth noting that the 2012 Olympics was also the source of one of the biggest pieces of old-school content for the USWNT with O’Hara – in which she declared: “Sniped” after being left on the lawn of a Scottish castle was swept like riding brooms.)

O’Hara’s last 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 injuries, there were doubts as to whether O’Hara would be included in the final 23-man squad. . tournament, and when she received a call from former coach Vlatko Andonovski, the emotions were palpable.

She played more than 10,000 minutes with the national team, appearing 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, where she won the 2010 championship. When FC Gold Pride folded, O’Hara was signed by the Boston Breakers. She planned to play for the Atlanta Beat, her hometown’s WPS team, but the league was shut down. O’Hara has been with the NWSL since its inception, beginning her NWSL career with Sky Blue FC, before competing in the inaugural Utah Royals FC and then moving on to the Washington Spirit – eventually winning her first NWSL championship in 2021. In January 2023, he signed with Gotham, who won the finals last year.

“It has been my greatest pleasure to represent my country and wear the USA Soccer logo,” O’Hara said in the USWNT 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 everything I was able to achieve, but more importantly, the people I was able to achieve it with.

So far, neither USA Soccer nor Gotham have shared any plans to celebrate O’Hara ahead of her retirement before the end of the 2024 season, although USA Soccer could choose to take advantage of their July match at the Red Bull Arena to send it out. -on.

(Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)