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Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday to Finish International Careers at End of 2015

CHICAGO (July 27, 2015) – The 10-game fall tour to celebrate the USA’s championship run at the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the final matches in a U.S. uniform for midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday. 

Holiday, 27, made public her decision to retire for club and country in early July, two days after the Women’s World Cup Final. Boxx, 38, recently confirmed her plans to finish her international career at the end of the year as well, but will also immediately retire from professional club soccer and will not be returning to the Chicago Red Stars for the remainder of the season. 

Both players have been vitally important contributors to the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team team over their careers and both finish with multiple Olympic gold medals, a Women’s World Cup title and a professional club championship. 

Boxx, who grew up in Torrance, California, and attended Notre Dame, played in all three incarnations of U.S. professional women’s soccer leagues. She was drafted by the San Diego Spirit into the WUSA and also played for the New York Power. In the WPS, she played for the Los Angeles Sol, the St. Louis Athletica, magicJack and FC Gold Pride, with whom she won a league title in 2010. She ends her career with the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL. 

“I’ve been blessed to play soccer professionally for 15 years,” said Boxx. “Much of my success at the international level — three gold medals and a World Cup victory — is owed to the professional women’s soccer leagues in which I’ve played. I’m excited to see the NWSL grow and inspire a new generation of girls who may, one day, have their dreams come true just as mine did.” 

Boxx was famously named to the 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team before ever earning a cap. She scored in her first three WNT matches, including the opening game of that tournament, and grew into a fixture at center midfield for years. Known for her tremendous ball-winning in the air and on the ground, as well as sophistication with the ball at her feet in the attack, she currently has 191 caps and 27 goals. 

Boxx was on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2008, 2005 (when she finished third) and 2004, and captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Star Team against Germany in Paris in May of 2005. She was named MVP of the prestigious Algarve Cup in 2004 and 2006. Boxx has struggled with injuries and illness over the past few years, and gave birth to her first daughter, Zoe, in February of 2014. She embarked on a remarkable comeback to make her final Women’s World Cup Team. 

Even more impressive, Boxx has been dealing with Sjogren’s syndrome and Lupus for years and been outspoken about her struggles to cope with the diseases while becoming a role model for many who are similarly afflicted. 

“This is the right decision for me right now,” said Boxx. “And though I’ll continue on with the U.S. team and our victory tour, I look forward to the next chapter in my career. 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.” 

Holiday grew up in Indianapolis and attended UCLA (where she finished as the Bruins all-time leading scorer). She played for the USA at the 2006 Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia and debuted for the full team in January of 2007 against Germany. 

She displayed tremendous versatility throughout her career, playing forward, flank midfield and several roles in the center of the midfield as well. One of the team’s smoothest passers and the USA’s best players with her back to the net, she has scored a bushel of world-class goals during her time in a U.S. jersey. 

The former Lauren Cheney was one of the youngest players on the 2008 Olympic Team. She currently has 130 caps and 24 goals, including her epic volley in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final that would turn out to be the game-winner. 

“I prayed about it for a couple years and really over the last year, I’ve had a lot of clarity that I was ready to move on,” said Holiday. “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. 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 played two seasons for the Boston Breakers in WPS and will finish her professional career at the end of this NWSL season with FC Kansas City, with whom she was the league MVP in 2013, leading the league in goals and assists. Last year she helped the Blues to the league title in 2014 and was MVP of the championship game. 

“I have so much respect for FC Kansas City and when I made my decision to retire, I knew I wanted to come back and finish out the season, not only for the club, but for the fans,” said Holiday. “Hopefully we can win another title and really go out on top.” 

Four games of the 10-game tour have been confirmed with the first match coming on Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The USA will then play Costa Rica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Aug. 19. The USA will face Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist Australia on Thursday, Sept. 17 at Ford Field in Detroit followed by a second match against the Matildas on Sunday, Sept. 20, at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. 

“It’s been an incredible honor and privilege to play so many games for the National Team, but I’m at peace with my decision,” added Holiday. “The tour will be a lot of fun over the next few months to celebrate not only a great World Cup win, but also my career and spending time with my teammates.”

World Champion USWNT to Play September Games in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama

CHICAGO (July 21, 2015) – The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team will play its third and fourth matches on its post-Women’s World Cup tour in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, this September. 

The games are part of a 10-match tour to celebrate the USA’s third World Cup title. The remaining six match dates, venues and opponents will be announced as they are confirmed. 

The USA will face Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist Australia on Thursday, Sept. 17, at Ford Field in Detroit (7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) followed by a match on Sunday, Sept. 20, at historic Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama (1:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2). 

Tickets for the September games go on sale to the public Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. local time at ussoccer.com. For the Detroit contest, tickets are also available by phone at 1-877-212-8898 and at the Ford Field ticket office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). For the event in Birmingham, tickets are also available by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Publix and Walmart locations). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Legion Field except on the day of the event.] 

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

The press credential application for media planning to cover the post-Women's World Cup tour matches is available online by clicking here. The deadline to submit the U.S. Soccer press credential application for the matches against Australia will be Friday, September 11. 

The USA and Australia met in the opening Group D game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-1 U.S. victory on two goals from Megan Rapinoe and a game-winner from Christen Press that kick-started the USA’s run to the championship. 

The USA’s tour begins on Aug. 16 against Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. More than 37,000 tickets have been sold for that match. [TICKETS] The USA will then play Costa Rica at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Aug. 19. That match is sold out with over 20,000 fans expected to attend.

Additional Notes:

  • The Sept. 17 clash with Australia will mark the USA’s fourth match in the Detroit area and third at Ford Field, home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
  • The USA played indoors at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1993 on grass in a test match for the 1994 World Cup, and then played at Ford Field in December 2008 and 2012 at the end of victory tours to celebrate the Olympic gold medals in Beijing and London, respectively.
  • The USA returns to Alabama for the first time in more than seven years. The U.S. Women played at Legion Field in 2003 against England, in 2004 against Brazil and in 2008 against Australia, a wild 5-4 victory that saw the Americans race out to a 4-1 lead only for the Matildas to roar back and tie the match. The U.S., which scored not one but two own goals in the game, won the match on a goal from Angela Hucles in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time.
  • In Canada this summer, Australia finished second in Group D and defeated Brazil 1-0 in their Round of 16 match on a goal from Boston Breakers forward Kyah Simon, before falling in the quarterfinal to eventual Women’s World Cup finalist Japan, 1-0, on an 87th minute score.

Behind The Crest. Ep. 8 - #USWNT in Canada

The U.S. WNT wins the World Cup and celebrates with fans in this final episode of Behind the Crest from Canada. After a great win against Japan in Vancouver, the team goes on set at FOX, heads back to the USA to present the trophy to fans in Los Angeles and caps it off with a historic ticker tape parade in New York City.

Gallery: USWNT Players Grace Covers of Sports Illustrated

In an unprecedented event in the history of Sports Illustrated, all 23 members of the U.S. Women's National Team will grace covers of the latest issue of the widely popular sports magazine. This is the first time every member of a team has had a dedicated solo cover.

After finishing atop the 'Group of Death' at this summer's 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, the USWNT went on to beat Colombia, China PR and Germany on its run to the final where it defeated Japan in the highest scoring Women's final in World Cup history. 

The team's first stop back in the U.S. was in LA where a crowd of more than 10,000 celebrated with the players at LA LIVE. From there, it was off to the Big Apple for a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan. Between all the interviews, the rally and the parade in NYC, the USWNT found time to shoot their covers for Sports Illustrated. Get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the shoot in video below. 

#USWNT Thanks Fans in Ticker Tape Parade in New York

The City of New York threw a Ticker Tape Parade for the U.S. Women’s National Team to honor their victory at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Fans lined the streets in Manhattan to show their appreciation for the team with the players riding across 12 floats during the historic event.

U.S. Women's World Cup Ticker Tape Parade

CHICAGO (July 10, 2015) - Live coverage of the ticker tape parade in honor of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champions. The parade is free to attend and begins at 11 a.m. ET and will proceed down Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall.

Letter to USWNT from Carol Heiss Jenkins

To the members of the U.S. Women’s National Team,

It’s hard to believe it’s been 55 years since I was riding in a convertible down the Canyon of Heroes, the same parade route all of you will be riding along on Friday. I was 20 years old, having just won an Olympic gold medal in figure skating, and like yours, my life was a whirlwind, flying by like the ticker tape in the sky.  It was a magical day, and I remember looking up at all of these people and all of these tall buildings. It was a marvelous scene that I have never forgotten. 

I am so proud that my hometown of New York will be honoring you women the same way. Your victory in the World Cup captivated all of us Americans. I made sure I tuned in right from the start, and I am so glad I didn’t miss any of the goals, including all three of the ones scored by Carli Lloyd. All of you put on a wonderful display of athleticism, sportsmanship and spirit, and you all made us so proud. 

I had no idea that I was the last woman athlete to be honored with a ticker-tape parade until reporters started contacting me about it this week. It took a long time to honor other women athletes but I am glad you are the women who will have that honor. To win a third World Cup for the United States was no easy task. Having competed at the Olympic and World level, I understand the enormous pressures you faced and know what an incredible feeling it is to perform well under those circumstances and with so many people watching.

It is wonderful to see so many young women involved in sports today, and I think your “SheBelieves” campaign has helped ignite this passion and has instigated this sentiment that anything is possible in a whole new generation of young girls.

If you believe in something, write it down, because if you believe it, then it becomes a goal. Young girls have to have dreams and believe in those dreams in order to make them happen. I have two granddaughters who play soccer, one of whom earned a four-year soccer scholarship at Brevard College in North Carolina. Your efforts in the World Cup will inspire young women to keep their athletic dreams alive.

I wish I could be in New York to celebrate with all of you. Not a lot keeps me down but I just underwent hip surgery last month, and this is one time I have to listen to my doctors and stay put. But I will be watching the parade on TV from my home in Cleveland, and I will be cheering for all of you. This team will be remembered for many years to come.

Enjoy the moment. Look up at the buildings and the people above. The cheering fans should make you realize your accomplishment transcends just a score in a soccer game. Take it all in, as it goes by fast. This moment in time is very well-deserved, and I hope your day is as magical as the one I enjoyed back in 1960.

Congratulations,
Carol Heiss Jenkins

 

 

55 Years Later, Carol Heiss Jenkins Reflects on Historic Day

It’s been 55 years since a female athlete has been honored with a ticker-tape parade in the City of New York. 

The last time such recognition was awarded was on March 6, 1960, and the woman sitting inside that white convertible waving to the USA faithful along the streets of Manhattan was New York native Carol Heiss Jenkins, a figure skater who had just returned home after earning her first Olympic gold medal.

From 1956-60, Heiss Jenkins was a dominant force in the world of international figure skating. She won five consecutive World Championships, four straight National Titles and earned two Olympic medals (silver in 1956 and gold in 1960), all by the time she was 20 years old. She was also the first woman to land a double axel in competition.

Despite not recalling in detail the organization of the event itself, Heiss Jenkins vividly remembers what it felt like.

“I just remember looking up at the high buildings and seeing the confetti and people waving all along the Canyon of Heroes and wishing congrats,” Heiss Jenkins said. “They were smiling and saying I love you. It was a magical day. When we finished and it came to an end, Mayor Robert Wagner greeted me and gave me the Key and Medallion to the City, and he also kissed me on the cheek. As a 20-year-old I was like, ‘oh my goodness.’”

The U.S. Women’s National Team will not only be the first female athletes to get a ticker-tape parade in their honor since 1960, but the USWNT will also have the recognition of becoming the very first all-female team to ride through the streets of New York City. 

“I watched all of it; all of the goals and also the historic three goals from Carli (Lloyd) were phenomenal. It was a star moment to have a hat trick in the Final. At that level - the actual performance like the Olympics, like the NBA finals; you work so hard to get to the Final and then to do that in the Final it’s unbelievable. The girls were wonderful. They never let down, and that’s so important at a Final, never over until it’s over. The whole team was superb.”

Unaware that her parade had been the last for a female athlete, when she was told that that was the case, Heiss Jenkins felt a surge of pride and excitement for this new generation paving the way for future female role models and champions.

“If you believe in something, write it down, because if you believe it, then it becomes a goal. Young girls have to have dreams and believe in those dreams in order to make them happen. I think this parade is so important. Everyone is going to watch. It’s such a big thing for women and girls to see. I hope the team takes it all in because it’s a wonderful day. It’s one of those rewards that you don’t expect. You have to earn it. But this is a reward that is the icing on the cake and it’s engraved in history forever. I didn’t realize the history of this but I think these girls know it and will appreciate it.”

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