Heather O'Reilly, arguably the most-decorated player in U.S. women's soccer history and a link for the generation of players who won Women's World Cups and 1999 and 2015, will end her 15-year
international career on Sept. 15 when the USA takes on Thailand in Columbus, Ohio.
HAO Titles: 2002: USA (Under-19 Women's World Championship) 2003: Univ. of North Carolina (NCAA Division I) 2004: USA (Olympics) 2006: Univ. of North Carolina (NCAA Division I) 2008: USA (Olympics) 2011:
Sky Blue FC (WPS) 2012: USA (Olympics) 2015: USA (Women's World Cup) 2015: FC Kansas City (NWSL)
O'Reilly, 31, made her debut on the senior
level at age 17 in 2002 when she was a senior in high school and has played 230 games, ranking seventh all-time in U.S. history. Her 46 goals place her 12th on the USA's all-time scoring list; her 54
assists put her sixth in that category.
O'Reilly played on Olympic gold-medal teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012 and won the 2015 Women's World Cup, joining fellow New Jersey product
Christie Rampone and Shannon Boxx as the only players to win all four titles.
"I have spent nearly half my life in a U.S. Soccer uniform, so making the decision to retire
from international play was incredibly hard and emotional," said O'Reilly. "But quite simply, after 230 caps, thousands of practices, many trips around the world, and having played in three World
Cups, and three Olympics, it just feels like the right time. I've had an incredibly complete career playing for my country and it has been an absolute honor to represent the USWNT for the last 15
years. I'm leaving this team with a lot happiness in my heart and pride for what we've accomplished. I truly love this game and it will be in my life forever."
O'Reilly, who also starred
when the USA win the inaugural Under-19 Women's World Championship in Canada, played at North Carolina, winning national titles in 2002 and 2006.
O'Reilly was a sophomore at UNC when she
played for the USA, which won the 2004 Olympic gold medal with a 2-1 overtime win in Athens. In 2008, she started as the USA beat Brazil a second time in the final.
But she didn't play in
the 2012 gold-medal game and was a little-used reserve at the 2015 Women's World Cup. With just 18 players on the 2016 Olympic roster, O'Reilly was an alternate.
"Heather has been a
vitally important part of our program for many years and has continued to set a standard for professionalism and work ethic," said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. "She's been right in the thick of
things for most of our big moments over the past 15 years and has always been the ultimate team player and a world-class person. She should be incredibly proud of the indelible impact she's made on
this team and on women's soccer."
Among her teammates in 2004 when fellow Tar Heels Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Cat Red dick and Lindsay Tarpley. When Hamm
retired later at the end of 2004, O'Reilly replaced her in the farewell game and donned Ham's No. 9 jersey.
O'Reilly lives in Chapel Hill in the offseason but still plays for the NWSL's
FC Kansas City, with which she won the 2015 NWSL title.
makes her the only player to win titles in the Women's World Cup, Olympics, Under-20 Women's World Cup (former U-19 World Championship), WPS, NWSL and college.
"I’m not retiring
from club level," O'Reilly said. "I love this game a lot. I said to [a reporter] the other day, there aren’t many places I’d rather be than on a soccer field. I find a lot of joy and still
feel pretty fit and healthy. I’m going to focus on these last couple games of the season here with Kansas City and enjoy the international retirement. I’ll take some times before making
any decisions from there."