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.”