March 14, Heather Mitts, a defender for the U.S. Women's National Team and Boston Breakers and one of just three women’s soccer players to win three Olympic gold medals for the USA, retired from professional soccer.
Mitts is moving on to work as a pre-game and sideline reporter for the Philadelphia Union's locally produced television broadcasts and as a soccer ambassador for the club.
“Nothing worthwhile is ever easy,” said Mitts. “Soccer has given me so many opportunities and has been a positive and humbling teacher. I feel completely fulfilled and it’s that perfect time to move on. I leave with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart.”
Mitts, 34, retired after having played 137 times for the United States, sixth in all-time caps for a defender. Mitts was a member of the USA’s 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal teams and the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team. She played in nine career Olympic matches and scored two goals in her career, both game-winners. For the USA, she started 104 of her 137 games and played in her last match on Dec. 15, 2012, against China in Boca Raton, Fla.
Mitts broke into the U.S. team full-time in 2004 and played almost every game for the USA through 2008. She was a First-Team All-American at the University of Florida where she helped the Gators to an NCAA title in 1998 and ended her college career as Florida’s all-time leader in games played, games started and minutes.
“I truly appreciate the women who paved the way, to my friends and dear teammates that I will never forget," said Mitts. "I will miss the little things, the travel by plane, train and mini-van, the locker room moments, keeping my teammates on their toes and nothing will ever compare to putting on that U.S. jersey.”
Mitts, who played for the Philadelphia Charge in the WUSA, the Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence and the Atlanta Beat in WPS, and was allocated to the Boston Breakers for the new NWSL before deciding to retire.