At 38 years old, Shannon Boxx to retire at end of year

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Shannon Boxx,38, has announced she will retire at the end of the year, bringing an end to yet another illustrious United States career.

“I’m going to be done at the end of the year,” Boxx said in a press conference prior to the Chicago Red Stars’ home match against the Boston Breakers.

“I would definitely like to continue playing through the victory tour and just trying to enjoy the last moments of playing, but I definitely want to continue to be part of the game as much as possible. But I definitely think my time has come (to) pass the torch and enjoy my family.”

The NWSL regular season finishes in September, while the final is scheduled for Oct. 1. Boxx plays on the Red Stars with World Cup teammates Christen Press and Julie Johnston. Boxx said she plans to play on the 10-game victory tour with the United States.

The Fontana, Calif., native played 16 minutes in the Women’s World Cup, appearing as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Nigeria to close out group stage play. She currently sits on 191 U.S. caps, and could add to that before retiring as the team plays 10 matches through the World Cup Victory Tour which begins in August against Costa Rica.

Boxx began her national team career in 2003, when she became the first U.S. woman to be called up for a World Cup without having earned a cap. She finishes her career having played in four World Cups and three Olympics, winning gold in all three. She was a finalist for FIFA Player of the Year in 2005, and has played in all nine women’s professional seasons in the United States thus far.

Boxx says she still enjoys playing to help inspire the younger generation as the sport continues slow growth in this country. “A lot of us play so the young girls can look at our team and go ‘I can do that,'” she said. “That’s why I thought the ticker tape parade was so special, because we looked down in the crowd and there were girls there, and I could see it in their eyes, ‘I want this.'”