Breakers defender Cat Whitehill announces retirement

(May 28, 2015) – Boston Breakers defender Cat Whitehill announced today her decision to retire from professional soccer, effective immediately.

(May 28, 2015) – Boston Breakers defender Cat Whitehill announced today her decision to retire from professional soccer, effective immediately.

“It is with a sad and humble heart that I have decided to announce my retirement as a professional soccer player. I have been thinking long and hard about this and have come to the conclusion that now is the time for me to step aside from playing the game that I love,” Whitehill said. “With my recent injury, and the fact that I will be missing games while commentating this summer during the World Cup, the best thing for me, my family and the Boston Breakers is to step aside.”

The decorated veteran and 2004 Olympic gold medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team, Whitehill played four seasons in Boston, amassing 5,359 minutes in 61 games (60 starts). During her time in Boston, Whitehill served as team captain and as player/coach during the second half of the 2013 NWSL season.

“Cat has had an incredible career, and I cannot thank her enough for what she has done here as a Boston Breaker and for what she has done for the women's game and soccer in this country,” Boston Breakers general manager Lee Billiard said. “She can look back and be very proud of her accomplishments and know there are many young girls playing this sport because of people like Cat.”

Cat Whitehill played four seasons for the Breakers (Photo By Mike Gridley)

Prior to landing in Boston, Whitehill played three seasons in Women’s Professional Soccer, two with the Washington Freedom and one with the Atlanta Beat. In three years in WPS and four years with the Breakers, Whitehill played a combined 121 games (118 starts), logged 10,663 minutes, scored five goals and tallied five assists. She made her 100th professional appearance on May 3, 2014, at home against Chicago.

“I am going to miss this game so much. Playing professional soccer has been a dream come true for me, and I am so grateful that I was able to play for as long as I did. It didn't matter the league, WPS, WPSL Elite or the NWSL, it just mattered that I had the opportunity to play the game that I love for a living, Whitehill commented. “Attempting to fully express my gratitude for the organizations, fans, and coaches that helped me develop me as a player and a person is an impossible task since so many people have had such a profound impact on my life.”

On the international level, Whitehill won 134 caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team. She scored 11 goals during her career, which began on July 6, 2000, vs. Italy. She notched her first international goal on March 17, 2001, vs. Norway.

She was a member of third place U.S. squads at the 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cup. In 2007, Whitehill led the U.S. in minutes played (2,116) and played every minute of all six Women’s World Cup matches, one of only two players to accomplish that feat. Amongst her many accomplishments, Whitehill is the only defender to score two goals in a World Cup game (2003 vs. North Korea).

“I must say thank you to the Boston Breakers for allowing me to play my last four years as a pro. I am proud of the fact that I can say I was a part of this organization,” Whitehill added. “I want to thank U.S. Soccer for allowing me to wear the red, white, and blue jersey for 10 years, win an Olympic gold medal and play in two World Cups. My time with the national team was the fulfillment of a dream that first started when I saw the USA win the gold medal in 1996 as a young soccer player from Alabama. Those 10 years were amazing, and I am proud to say that I was able to represent my country around the world.”

Prior to going pro, Whitehill helped lead the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to two NCAA Championships (2000 and 2003). A four-time NSCAA All-American, Whitehill won the 2003 MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the best player in Division 1 college soccer.

“To Anson and Dino, my four years at UNC transformed me into not only a better player, but a better person as well,” Whitehill said. “Your guidance has been instrumental in all my success on and off the field. I am still so proud to be a part of the Tar Heel family. And to my family and closest friends, thank you for being there for the good, the bad, and the weird times. You have put up with everything that it takes to be a professional soccer player and you have sacrificed in indescribable ways. God has greatly blessed me with these experiences and, to have had the chance to share them with each of you, I love y'all so much.”

This summer, Whitehill joins the FOX Sports broadcast crew at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and will call all of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s group stage matches.

“We will work to keep Cat involved in the organization in some capacity, and we wish her all the best for her World Cup commentary,” Billiard added. “An amazing person on and off the field, it has been my privilege to have worked with her.”

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