Legendary USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara says she will retire at end of 2024 season

The United States women’s national team will say goodbye to another star as defender Kelley O’Hara announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2024 NWSL season.

O’Hara goes down as one of the best fullbacks in USWNT history as her 14-year career with the national team saw her win two World Cups and a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.

Her debut with the national team came in March 2010 with her last appearance being the World Cup defeat vs. Sweden when she came on as a substitute to take a penalty. The 35-year-old made 160 appearances for the U.S. which puts her just outside the top 20 at No. 21 for most USWNT caps.

She’s one of just 12 players to compete in four World Cups for the USWNT.

She’ll officially hang up her boots this fall as she helps Gotham FC defend their NWSL Championship. 

There hasn’t been any word on if she’ll get a sendoff game like we saw with Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz last year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that O’Hara will get a proper goodbye after this summer’s Olympics.

Kelley O’Hara retirement announced

“It has been one of the greatest joys to represent my country and to wear the U.S. Soccer crest,” O’Hara said. “As I close this chapter of my life, I am filled with gratitude. Looking back on my career I am so thankful for all the things I was able to accomplish but most importantly the people I was able to accomplish them with.”

USWNT fans will miss O’Hara’s fierceness and “F them up” mentality. The former Stanford star became known on the international stage for her physical tackles, leadership, work ethic and locker room presence.

One of her biggest highlights came in the 2015 World Cup semifinal vs. Germany when she scored one of her three international goals. With the USWNT holding onto a 1-0 lead late in the game, O’Hara came off the bench to score the dagger that sent the U.S. to the World Cup final.

In the next World Cup she cemented herself as one of the best fullbacks in the world starting in six of the USWNT’s seven games and playing a key role for the U.S. in the tournament.


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