[USA WOMEN]Heather Mitts, one of only four players to represent the USA on its 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold-medal teams, announced her retirement at the age of 34. Mitts, who was allocated to the Boston Breakers of the new NWSL, had not traveled with the USA to the 2013 Algarve Cup.
Mitts wrote on her Facebook page:
"The time has come for me to move onto a new stage of my career. I truly appreciate the women who paved the way, to my friends and dear teammates that I will never forget. I will miss the little things … the travel by plane, train and mini van, the locker room moments, keeping my teammates on their toes and nothing will ever compare to putting on that US jersey. It’s been an amazing journey with some obstacles but in the very end I feel so fortunate that we were able to close on a golden note."
Mitts starred at the University of Florida and played in both WUSA (Philadelphia Charge) and WPS (Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat).
She was one of the most popular women's players of the group that followed the 1999 Women's World Cup team.
The 34-year-old Mitts retires after having played 137 times for the USA, good for 18th on its all-time caps list and sixth-best for a defender. She debuted for the USA in February 1999.
She played in her last game for the USA on Dec. 15, 2012, against China.
Mitts and teammates Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Heather O'Reilly are the only soccer players in history to win three Olympic gold medals. The other three are all still active on the national team.