CHICAGO – Chicago Red Stars midfielder and former U.S. Women’s National Team player Leslie Osborne has announced her retirement from professional soccer.
Osborne played professionally with FC Gold Pride and Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer before joining the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013. She played and started in 18 games for the team netting one goal last season, while serving as the team’s co-captain. Osborne was expected to return to Chicago’s starting eleven this year.
“It’s been an amazing nine years playing professionally and I will never really be able to express how much soccer has impacted my life,” Osborne said. “To be able to represent my country playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team and to play in two different professional leagues, and be a captain on all those teams, is a dream.”
“I want to thank my mentors who helped pave the way. I want to thank my coaches who gave me the opportunity and chance to learn and grow. I want to thank the owners and fans who have given us the opportunity to play the game we love. I want to thank my amazing teammates, both current and former, for the memories.”
“And most of all I want to say thank you to the Chicago Red Stars staff and fans that have supported me along the way and in women’s soccer. It is really special to end my career in Chicago…to be back where it all started…in the Midwest.”
Osborne, a 30-year-old Brookfield, Wisconsin native, played collegiately at Santa Clara University. She had 44 goals and 33 assists in her career with the Broncos. In her senior year she won the NCAA’s Honda Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top female athlete in their sport. In 2014, she was named to the West Coast Conference’s Hall of Fame.
Osborne was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team earning her first cap with the squad in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, Osborne earned the starting defensive midfielder position for the team, playing and starting in 27 games throughout that two-year span. In May 2008, Osborne tore her ACL during training, and only saw action in one match after recovering in 2009.
This year, Osborne was brought on as a color commentator by FOX Soccer covering the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship.
“I’m obviously disappointed Leslie won’t be part of team this year, but more so I’m very excited for her as she begins this next phase of her life,” Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames said. “She was a great player, teammate and role model for the women’s game. She has left a legacy she can be very proud of, both on and off the field.”
The Chicago Red Stars open their season on April 19 against Western New York Flash in a doubleheader with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. For tickets, or for more information, please visit chicagoredstars.com/tickets.