After an international career spanning 15 years, midfielder Heather O'Reilly has announced her retirement from the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. The 31-year-old will play her final game on Sept. 15 in a friendly against Thailand in Columbus, Ohio.
“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,” O’Reilly told U.S. Soccer. “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.”
O'Reilly began her career at the 2002 Algarve Cup as a 17-year-old high school senior, making her one of the youngest players ever to debut with the national team. She was the second-youngest player ever to hit 200 caps for Team USA; she did so in 2014 at age 29.
She has competed in three FIFA Women's World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015) and three Olympic Games (2004, 2008 and 2012), most recently serving as an alternate for the 2016 Olympic team. She ends her career as one of only four women's soccer players with three Olympic gold medals, as well as a 2015 Women's World Cup champion. Having also won the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Cup, she's one of very few players in history to have won an Olympics, a senior World Cup and a youth World Cup.
“Heather has been a vitally important part of our program for many years and has continued to set a standard for professionalism and work ethic,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis told U.S. Soccer. “She’s been right in the thick of things for most of our big moments over the past 15 years and has always been the ultimate team player and a world-class person. She should be incredibly proud of the indelible impact she’s made on this team and on women’s soccer.”
O'Reilly has played professionally for FC Kansas City in the National Women's Soccer League since 2014; she will continue to compete on the club level after her international retirement.