Soccer  > General Soccer  > Lilly retires from women's game with 352 caps
January 5, 2011, 03:52 PM
CHICAGO - American midfielder Kristine Lilly, who has appeared in a record 352 international matches, announced her retirement on Wednesday, quitting the women's game after more than 23 years.

The 39-year-old Lilly, who helped the United States qualify for a sixth straight Women's World Cup by appearing in three matches at October-November's CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying tournament.

"The thing that has been so great for me in making this decision is that I'm in such a good place with my life and soccer," Lilly said in a new release distributed by the U.S. Soccer Federation. "When I look back at everything I've been a part of, it's been great. There are no regrets."

Lilly's career includes two Women's World Cup titles (1991, 1999) and a pair of Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004), professional careers in two countries (Sweden, United States) and 130 international goals, second-most in the women's game behind former teammate Mia Hamm (158).

She is the only woman to have appeared in more than 300 international matches, easily outdistancing the next closest player (Hamm, 275).

"Kristine Lilly has been an integral part of our women's soccer history, a great ambassador for the game and a tremendous role model for young players in the United States," U.S. federation president Sunil Gulati said.

Besides the national team, Lilly also is ending her professional club career, retiring from the Boston Breakers of the U.S. Women's Professional Soccer league after two seasons. Lilly played for the Breakers in the old Women's United Soccer Association from 2001-2003, as well as Tyreso FF (1994) and KIF Orebro (2005) in Sweden and also played for the Washington Warthogs of the men's Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1995.

Lilly's decision to retire comes four years after her marriage to Boston firefighter Dave Heavey and more than two years after giving birth to her daughter Sidney, which also caused her to miss the 2008 Olympics.

"I'm just at the point in my life with my family and career where it was the right time," she said. "I never knew what the right time was going to feel like, but I finally got there."
 
January 6, 2011  11:54 AM ET

352? most preffessionals are lucky to get 100 international caps, that's gotta be a record!

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