SportsWorld: Holiday explains decision to retire after USWNT’s World Cup win

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USWNT midfielder Lauren Holiday’s decision to retire was driven by the desire to put the team before herself.

Not the U.S. team, but apparently the team that is “all of humanity”.

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Speaking with NBC SportsWorld’s Jeff Kassouf, Holiday explained her surprising decision to retire from professional soccer at the age of 27, days after winning the World Cup.

Holiday wants to spend more time with her family, and a big part of that has to do with NBA veteran Jrue Holiday, whose schedule is fairly opposite the NWSL. And she has some next level views on why her participation in team sports was selfish.

From SportsWorld:

“I want to help in any way that I can in the world. My heart breaks for so many things, so I feel like as awesome of a lifestyle it is, it’s also a very selfish lifestyle. Your schedule is predetermined. I can’t go a day without training or thinking about training and I feel like professional athletics is very you-central and I feel like I was ready to serve other people.”

Holiday said she will most cherish the friendships and the journey she’s had, which began with the United States national team at the senior level in 2007, while she was still at UCLA. Her journey on the field for the United States team is emblematic of her willingness to put others – including her team – first. Holiday started her senior career as a forward before moving back into an attacking midfield role. She ends her time with the U.S. even farther back on the field, as a deep-lying midfielder in front of the defense. That shift has helped her mature on and off the field, she says, and it taught her a valuable lesson:

“Just to accept the role that you’re given and put the team before yourself,” Holiday said. “If I think about any legacy that I would want to leave, it would be that I put others before myself and I put the team before myself. The journey has been quite the ride.”

A devout Christian, you read Holiday’s words and she’s aiming for a lifestyle more Mother Teresa than Lady Andrade. Whatever she does — and rest assured her family shouldn’t struggle — it’ll be worth monitoring.