USWNT Star Kelley O'Hara Will Retire After 2024 NWSL Season

Mar 15, 2024; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Kelley O'Hara (5) in action during a game.
Mar 15, 2024; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Kelley O'Hara (5) in action during a game. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time World Cup champion Kelley O'Hara announced on Thursday via Just Women's Sports that she intends to retire from professional soccer after the 2024 NWSL season.

"I have always said I would play under two conditions: That I still love playing soccer, and if my body would let me do it the way I wanted to," O’Hara said. "I realized a while back that I was always going to love it, so it was the physical piece that was going to be the deciding factor."

O'Hara will play her second and final season with Gotham FC, the team coming off the 2023 league title. Her final game will be played at a date to be determined later depending on how Gotham FC fares this season.

A big piece of O'Hara's decision to retire was determined by the recent injuries she's dealt with, most recently with ankle and knee issues. But once she listened to her body about the physical "toll" the injuries have taken on her, she felt much better about her retirement decision.

"Once I was like, 'Alright, you know what, this will be my last year,' I have had a lot of peace with it," O'Hara said. "Truly the only thing I felt was gratitude for everything that my career has been, all the things I've been able to do and the people I've been able to do it with."

The 35-year-old has been a member of the USWNT since 2010, playing with them during four World Cup runs and helping them win a gold medal during the 2012 London Olympics.

She's won two NWSL titles, one with her former club the Washington Spirit back in 2021, and again last year with Gotham FC. She could add a third title to her resume depending how the team does this season.


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Madison Williams

MADISON WILLIAMS

Madison Williams is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where she has covered the entire sports landscape since 2022. She specializes in tennis, but covers a wide range of sports from a national perspective. Before joining Sports Illustrated, Madison worked with The Sporting News. She hails from Augustana College and completed a Master’s in Sports Media at Northwestern University. Madison is a dog mom and an avid reader.