Angela Hucles Retires From Professional Soccer
U.S. Midfielder and 2008 Olympic Hero Played 109 Times for the USA
CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2009) – Angela Hucles, the U.S. Women’s National Team’s leading scorer at the 2008 Olympics, has announced her retirement from competitive soccer. The 31-year-old Hucles, who played the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) with the Boston Breakers, hangs up her cleats having earned 109 caps for the USA while scoring 13 international goals.
Hucles will not travel with the USA to Germany for its Oct. 29 clash with the reigning Women’s World Cup and European champions and has also called an end to her WPS career.
“I feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to devote my life to soccer, make a career out of the game and have so many amazing experiences,” said Hucles. “I’ve been honored to play for my country and to be involved in the women’s professional league. The people within U.S. soccer and my club are my second family, so I’ll continue to be a supporter of the game and of these players who will continue to bring women’s soccer to the forefront of our country.”
The 5-foot-7 midfielder debuted for the USA in 2002 and started 48 of her 109 career caps (good for 24th on the U.S. all-time caps list), but had her best year ever for the USA in 2008. Coming into last year, she had scored just five career goals, but more than doubled that number, pounding in eight in 32 matches, by far the most games she had played in a calendar year.
Hucles had expected to be a reserve during the 2008 Olympics, but a broken leg suffered by Abby Wambach in the final pre-OIympic match thrust her into the starting lineup, where she put in one of the best clutch performances in U.S. history. Her team-leading four goals at the Olympics included two in the USA’s 4-2 semifinal victory over Japan.
“I’m happy to end my career after having such a great experience at the 2008 Olympics and being part of the inaugural season of the WPS,” said Hucles. “I just want to thank everyone who has been involved in my career because since starting with the Under-8 Tan Stingers, I’ve had many people who have been a part of helping me become the person and player that I am today.”
An All-American at the University of Virginia where she played from 1996-99 as a forward, she was a four-time All-ACC selection and finished her career as the all-time leading goal scorer in Cavalier history with 59 goals.
Hucles played all three seasons of the WUSA for the Boston Breakers from 2001-2003, scoring six goals with eight assists.
Hucles was a member of four world championship teams for the USA, winning two Olympic gold medals. She made her first world championship roster for the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but did not see action due to a shin injury. She played in two matches at the 2004 Olympics in Greece and was also on the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team. Then of course came the 2008 Olympics, where in addition to her two goals in the semifinal, she also scored against New Zealand in the final game of group play and a had a huge goal against Canada in the quarterfinal match, a 2-1 overtime victory.
“I always wanted to involve myself in things I was passionate about and give 110 percent,” said Hucles. “I feel like I’ve come to a point where I no longer can give that much and I know that there are other players who are ready to step up to the plate in order to bring the World Cup trophy back to the U.S. and carry on the professional women’s soccer in the United States as well.”
U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will name a replacement for the Germany trip shortly.