Long-Time U.S. Women’s National Team Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris Announces Retirement

CHICAGO (November 14, 2022) – Ashlyn Harris, who was part of two World Cup-winning teams for the US Women’s National Team and was the starting goalkeeper for the historic 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup champions, has announced her retirement from soccer professional.

Harris, 37, played in all 10 National Women’s Soccer League seasons, most recently with NJ/NY Gotham FC, and was a part of the US Women’s National Team programs for 20 years.

She burst onto the international scene in 2002 at the age of 16, when, as the youngest starter, she led the USA back to the title in the first FIFA Women’s World Cup for female soccer players. Harris had a great game in the championship game as the USA defeated Canada, 1-0, in Edmonton on a Golden Goal by Lindsay Tarpley in front of 47,784 fans.

She was also the starting goalkeeper and captain of the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand. She played every minute in goal for these two World Cup teams in 12 matches.

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Harris, who finished her Under-19 career with 39 caps, the most ever at that level, is the latest member of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s Championship squad to call time on her career.

The Satellite Beach, Fla. native. also saw some extensive action with the U.S. U-23/21 and played with the U.S. U-16 and U-17 national teams during her youth career. Her first National Team activity was at an U-14 National ID Camp in 1999.

“It has been my greatest honor to represent this country both on and off the field,” Harris said. “I started this journey with US Soccer at the age of 13 and it has shaped me in every part of my life. I am proud of the woman I have become and I can only thank the people who have supported and lifted me up through it all. Thanks to all my youth team coaches, full National team coaches, goalkeeper coaches, support staff and everyone in between.

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“To all my teammates, you have been the driving force behind my longevity. This trip has always been about the people for me, so thank you for all the incredible memories and lifelong friendships. To the fans, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope that in some way I have impacted your life as you all have impacted mine.”

After suffering multiple serious injuries in her college career at the University of North Carolina, where she eventually won two NCAA titles, she did not make the senior national team until 2010 after playing well in the second women’s pro league in the US, WPS, where she helped the Western New York Flash to the league title in 2011.

During her long and illustrious professional club career, she played for Saint Louis Athletica (WPS), Washington Freedom (WPS), Western New York Flash (WPS), FCR 2001 Duisburg (German First Division), Washington Spirit ( NWSL), Tyresö FF (Swedish First Division), Orlando Pride (NWSL) and NY/NJ Gotham FC (NWSL).

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She made her full National Team debut in 2013 in a 1-1 draw with Sweden at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and would go on to play 25 times for the USA, 21 of which were starts. She played against 21 different countries during her international career, had nine career shutouts and a 17-2-2 record for the USA.

Most notably, she was a member of the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning teams. She was the alternate goalkeeper for the 2016 Olympic Team.

Her last game for the USWNT was on January 31, 2020, in an 8–0 win over Panama in an Olympic qualifier in Houston, Texas.

Harris made an impact off the field as well, something she will continue into her athletic retirement. Alongside her wife and fellow World Cup winner Ali Krieger, she has been a role model and outspoken champion for equality and inclusion, using her platform to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ rights and mental health awareness .

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