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USWNT Icon Kelley O’Hara Announces Plans to Retire from Professional Soccer at End of 2024 NWSL Season

By Gotham FC Communications, 05/02/24, 2:00PM EDT


HARRISON, NJ (Thursday, May 2, 2024) - U.S. Women’s National Team defender, Olympic gold medalist, two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, two-time National Women’s Soccer League champion, and global soccer icon Kelley O’Hara today announced that the 2024 NWSL season with NJ/NY Gotham FC will be the last of her storied career.  

“I just want to say thank you to every single person who has cheered me on and supported me through the years,” said O’Hara in her official announcement video with Just Women’s Sports. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was four years old, and it’s been an absolute joy. But as they say, ‘Don't cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’ And I know there will be a lot of tears by me and probably some of y'all, but I hope there are more smiles. Love y’all.”
The 2024 campaign marks O’Hara’s 15th season in professional soccer and her 11th in the NWSL. When she joined Gotham FC in 2023, the defender made history as the league’s first-ever free agent signing, setting a new standard for players to select their own destinations. She went on to lead Gotham FC to the club’s first ever NWSL Championship in 2023, which was also her second. 
Before her return to Gotham FC, O’Hara spent the previous two seasons with the Washington Spirit, where she led the club to the 2021 NWSL Championship, scoring the game-winner in second-half stoppage to lift the Spirit 2-1 over the Chicago Red Stars. O’Hara also previously starred for the Utah Royals (2018-20) and for Gotham FC under its former name Sky Blue FC (2013-17). In her first tenure with the club, she dished out a club-record 18 assists, which still remains unmatched today.
With the USWNT, O’Hara has recorded 160 appearances in all competitions and has played in every senior world championship from 2011-23, which includes four FIFA Women’s World Cups and three Olympic Games. She is one of only 12 players in USWNT history to be named to four World Cup teams after she competed in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023 - becoming a two-time champion with victories in consecutive tournaments in 2015 and 2019. On the international stage, the global soccer icon also won an Olympic gold medal (2012) and an Olympic bronze medal (2021) in addition to being named to the FIFPro World Best XI (2019).
The Fayetteville, Georgia native played collegiately at Stanford University, where the two-time All-American was awarded the MAC Hermann Trophy as the top player in college soccer in the country after she scored 26 goals and added 13 assists in her senior season.
In addition to her incredible career on the field, O’Hara has utilized her platform as an advocate for equal pay to create change and impact off the pitch.