Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday to retire after victory tour
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) U.S. soccer formally announced that midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday will retire from the U.S. national team following a victory tour to celebrate the Women's World Cup title.
Both players had previously voiced their intention to step down from the team. U.S. Soccer said Monday that Boxx, 38, will also retire immediately from the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars.
Both players were on the roster for the U.S. team that won the World Cup this summer with a 5-2 victory in the final against Japan.
A center midfielder, Boxx has 27 goals in 191 international appearances. She joined the team in 2003 and was named to the World Cup roster that year despite having not yet earned a cap with the team.
She has battled Lupus and Sjogren's syndrome, an immune disorder, for the past several years, and left the U.S. team last season for the birth of her daughter, Zoe. She and her family live in Oregon.
''This is the right decision for me right now,'' Boxx said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. ''And though I'll continue on with the U.S. team and our victory tour, I look forward to the next chapter in my life. Having the time to focus more on my family, whose support has made everything possible, is something I will cherish as much as the game.''
Boxx has played for the Red Stars since the team's first season in 2013.
''What she brought to the organization were so many intangibles that only someone who has competed at the highest level for such a long time and persevered through seemingly insurmountable obstacles could bring,'' Red Stars general manager Alyse LaHue said. ''We'll miss her day-to-day presence, but we're grateful for her time here and that she ended her lauded career as a Red Star.''
Holiday, 27, has said she wants to focus on having a family. She is married to Jrue Holiday, who plays for the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans.
Holiday has 24 goals in 130 appearances with the national team, which she joined in 2007 after playing at UCLA. She scored in the first half of the World Cup final against Japan.
''It is a bit bittersweet as I have a lot of emotion invested in the women's national team, but I'm also excited to start the next chapter of my life,'' Holiday said. ''I've accomplished and fulfilled all my dreams in soccer and now there are other things I want to do. I want to serve other people and focus on my family.''
Holiday will finish out the season with her NWSL team, FC Kansas City.
The pair will play in the 10-city World Cup victory tour, which opens Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Another match against Costa Rica is set for Aug. 19 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee.