FC Kansas City midfielder Lauren Holiday is retiring from the U.S. Women’s National Team but plans to finish out the National Women’s Soccer League season with the Blues.
Holiday was at the rally for the national team on Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles and became emotional when she revealed her plans to retire.
“This isn’t something that happened overnight,” Holiday said. “This is something I’ve prayed about for a couple of years now. But my goal was to win an NWSL championship and a World Cup, and I did it.
“I know this is where I was supposed to be for so many years, and I know that I gave my all to soccer, to the sport, to this team. I’m excited for a new chapter in my life, and I feel like this team isn’t my identity. It’s my choice. I think there’s power in making a choice. I chose this team for 10 years, and now I’m going to choose my family.”
Holiday, 27, is married to Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA.
Holiday, who was the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2014, started all but one match of the World Cup championship run. She was suspended for one game because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
She has played 16 matches for the national team this season. She leads the team with five assists, and she scored the third goal in the United States’ 5-2 victory against Japan in the Women’s World Cup championship game Sunday. It was her second World Cup selection.
Holiday has 130 international caps and 24 international goals since her national team debut in January of 2007.
With FC Kansas City, she was selected the NWSL MVP in her first season with the Blues and championship MVP in 2014.
“She is our leader no question about it,” said Huw Williams, FCKC’s technical director. “Our system on the field revolves around Lauren Holiday. She is our playmaker and our tempo. Everything starts and ends with her. Off the field, as good as a player she is, she is a better person.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.