USWNT hero and North Carolina Courage playmaker Heather O’Reilly gave her special day its just desserts.
The 34-year-old New Jersey native scored a sweet goal late in North Carolina’s 6-1 demolition of Orlando Pride on Saturday night, which just so happened to be the evening chosen to celebrate her 17-year career.
O’Reilly has won the WPS with Sky Blue FC, FA Cup with Arsenal, and NWSL titles with both North Carolina Courage and FC Kansas City.
She accumulated a wild 231 caps in a decade-and-a-half with the USWNT, scoring 42 goals.
Only seven USWNT players have been capped more times than O’Reilly.
On the day before the opening of the 2019 NWSL season, I would like to share that this will be my last season as professional player! It’s been a long and beautiful ride. More goodbyes can come after the season. Until then, we have work to do! See you at the stadium! #couragepic.twitter.com/pu1Ic0yUL6
O’Reilly, 32, is the eighth-highest capped player in USWNT history and retired from the national team in September 2016. She was an integral part of the team which won the 2015 World Cup in Canada, plus she has three Olympic gold medals from the 2004 games in Athens, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
The midfielder scored 47 goals in 231 appearances for the USWNT, while she has also played for the Boston Breakers and most recently the Kansas City Stars in the NWSL.
Speaking about signing for the FA Women’s Super League powerhouse, O’Reilly was delighted to be moving to London.
“Having come over to Arsenal last year to train, I was very impressed with the club,” O’Reilly said. “The facilities are world class and they have a tradition of excellence at the club that I wanted to be a part of, I’m very happy to be here.”
The schedules for the 2017-18 season in both the WSL 1 and 2 were released last week and the opening weekend of the season is on Apr. 22 when O’Reilly’s Arsenal play Notts County.
O’Reilly joins USWNT winger Crystal Dunn in the WSL 1, as she plays for Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea.
O’Reilly, 32, could return to FC Kansas City after the FAWSL Spring Season. Arsenal holds English internationals Alex Scott and Kelly Smith, as well as former WNY Flash assistant coach Pedro Martinez Losa in the manager’s chair.
Heather O'Reilly joins Arsenal,tells me:"I want to help soccer in the US-I’m doing this to be a better ambassador"@JeffKassouf@espnW#NWSL