Kudos to U.S. soccer legend Kristine LIlly for calling it a day while she’s still got game. After 352 appearances for the national team, one of the most beloved figures in the history of women’s soccer anounced she is retiring.
The 5-foot-4-inch midfielder hangs up her boots at age 39 as perhaps the game’s most accomplished player and certainly one of the most successful and decorated female athletes in U.S. history. She played in five FIFA Women’s World Cups (the only woman to do so) and three Olympic Games, helping the USA win four of those tournaments, finishing second once and third three times. Lilly scored in every world championship tournament she played, except her first, the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup when she was 20 years old.
She is the only player to appear for the United States in four different decades and is both the youngest and oldest player to ever score a goal for the USA. She is also the oldest player ever to earn a cap by more than three years over long-time teammate Joy Fawcett.
“The thing that has been so great for me in making this decision is that I’m in such a good place with my life and soccer,” said Lilly. “When I look back at everything I’ve been a part of, it’s been great. There are no regrets. The opportunities I’ve had to play with so many great players and be a part of so many great moments has been amazing. There are so many people who have supported me through my journey and I really want to thank the U.S. Soccer Federation for their support of women’s soccer, the Boston Breakers, the sponsors and the fans for giving me the opportunity to live out my dreams for the past twenty-four years.”
- Watch Studio 90 | Listen to Podcast with Lilly |