Carli Lloyd Announces Retirement from Professional Soccer: 'I Am Forever Grateful'

Carli Lloyd will play four more matches with the U.S. women's national soccer team and finish out the National Women's Soccer League season before walking away from the sport

carli lloyd
Carli Lloyd. Photo: Omar Vega/Getty Images

Carli Lloyd is leaving it all on the pitch.

The superstar athlete will be retiring from professional soccer, she announced with help from U.S. Soccer on Monday.

The 39-year-old will play in four fall friendly matches for the U.S. women's national soccer team this September and October, and finish out the remainder of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season with the NJ/NY Gotham FC before her retirement.

"When I first started out with the national team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships," Lloyd said in a statement. "Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long."

Lloyd has spent 12 years playing professional soccer, represented America during the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games, and is a two-time FIFA Women's World Cup Champion. She just won a bronze medal with the women's national team at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the oldest American female to play in an Olympic soccer tournament.

"I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years," said Lloyd. "I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation."

The athlete noted that she will always be "thankful for the friendships" she's made throughout her career, and grateful that she got "to play and compete with the best players in the world."

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"Through all the goals, the trophies, the medals and the championships won, what I am most proud of is that I've been able to stay unapologetically me," said Lloyd. "My journey has been hard, but I can honestly say I've stayed true to myself, to my teammates, my coaches, the media and the fans throughout my entire career and that is what I am most proud of. Everyone sees the moments of glory, but I have cherished the work behind the scenes and the adversity that I've had to overcome to get to those glorious moments."

Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the Games, Lloyd said that the "Olympics is something bigger than just your team."

"You're part of Team USA, you're representing the United States of America. It's an unbelievable feeling to be able to do that," Lloyd said at the time.

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