USWNT Athlete Ali Campbell to Retire from Squad

June 22, 2017, 11:58 a.m. (ET)

Images in video courtesy of Mark Palczewski

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - June 22, 2017 - U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Campbell (Gilbertsville, Pa.) shares her decision to retire from the senior squad following 4 years and a total of 31 international caps while representing Team USA. 

“From the moment, I joined the USWNT staff 3 years ago, Ali was a player keen to learn and improve herself,” said Janneke Schopman, USWNT Head Coach. “Her willingness to go beyond was remarkable, always working hard in training but also putting in the hours to watch video and taking care of her body. Many young athletes can take an example in how she approached her sport, never leaving anything to chance."

A native of Boyertown, Pa., Campbell was a four-year varsity starter who was named All-Area, All-State, All-Pac 10 and MVP as a Boyertown High School Bear. She also served as captain her senior year. She was a member of the X-Calibur Club Team that attended and medaled at various USA Field Hockey national events including the National Hockey Festival and National Indoor Tournament.

“My mom was the one who got me into hockey,” commented Campbell. “She played, and her and my dad found a league at Perkiomen Valley for me to begin playing. Hockey is a unique sport, and I love the skill and speed needed to play. I love that women and men can play, and that it can be played indoors and outdoors.” 

Faced with adversity, Campbell’s drive and determination propelled her through two ACL tears to play collegiately at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. An integral part of the Terps defensive unit, she accumulated various personal accolades while assisting with two program national championships and an Atlantic Coast Conference title throughout her career.

“When I got hurt, I felt it was an opportunity to really stick to the mindset, ‘now or never,’” mentioned Campbell. “I could choose to come back from my setbacks, or I could just move on. I think that is what has given me the work ethic and passion that I have today. I always play with a now or never attitude because you never know what could come in the next play or moment. It also gave me a chance to really get to the dark places and know that I can keep pushing and keep going, because I might not have this opportunity, so I better give it all I have to get the best out of myself.” 

Campbell first entered the USWNT’s Olympic Development Pipeline in 2006 when she was named to the U.S. U-16 Women’s National Team. This was followed up by time on both the U.S. U-19 and U-21 Women’s National Teams, where she participated and won bronze at the women’s Junior Pan American World Cup Qualifier in 2012, clinching a bid to the 2013 women’s Junior World Cup. She was also a member of the U.S. Women’s National Indoor Team for 5 years and participated in an Indoor Pan American Games in Argentina.

“The best thing about being on Team USA is the chance to represent your country on the highest stage,” said Campbell. “It is a bonus playing with a group of such strong women. The ability to represent my country in the sport that I love is an unbelievable opportunity. Hearing the anthem and holding onto my ‘sisters’ is one of the most special moments I will always cherish in my career with Team USA.”

While wearing the red, white and blue, Campbell participated in many series with Team USA and she got to travel to various countries. One of her favorite tour memories are the bus rides to the games. She enjoyed the atmosphere of everyone and how they were buzzing with excitement, singing to music, laughing and bonding. She will relish those little moments that made her grow closer with her teammates.

As a player, she was very skillful with a great pass over short and long distance, her positive mindset and engagement in training sessions I’ll definitely miss,” said Schopman. “Moving toward a new career, I want to wish her all the best and thank her for her hard work in the USWNT the past years.

Campbell has no set future plans but hopes to continue to coach. She enjoys watching athletes improve as they reach closer to their potential.

“Seeing them grow on and off the field is rewarding and I love to be a small piece of that development,” added Campbell. 

USA Field Hockey wishes the best of luck to Campbell in her future endeavors.