Here’s the word from Seattle Reign FC:
Seattle Reign FC and former U.S. Women's National Team defender Stephanie Cox on Monday announced her retirement from professional soccer.
“I am sure that it will take me awhile to fully process that my playing career is over, but I know that after such a special season that now is the right time for me to step off the field for good,” said Cox of her decision to retire from professional soccer. “Playing professionally and all the travel and commitment entailed has been a sacrifice for my family and I am so grateful for their constant support and encouragement.”
Cox, 29, made 49 appearances (48 starts) and tallied 4 assists in two and a half seasons with Reign FC. Seattle signed Cox in June of 2013 midway through their inaugural campaign.
In 2014, Cox was a key member of a dynamic backline that allowed a league-low 20 goals (0.83 goals-against-average) en route to winning the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield with the best regular season record. Cox was voted onto the NWSL Second XI in 2014.
Reign FC re-signed Cox for the 2015 campaign and saw more of the same, as the defender once again was a pivotal member of a stellar backline. Seattle captured a second consecutive NWSL Shield and Cox was again voted to the NWSL Second XI.
"The last three seasons with the Reign have been the best of my career. I love the players, the staff, the ownership, and the amazing environment that has been created by all involved,” said Cox. “It has been a dream come true to be able to go to practice, do what I love, and then come home to my family at the end of the day.”
The Elk Grove, Calif. native began playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2006 and amassed 89 career caps, winning a gold medal with the USWNT at the 2008 Olympics in China. In addition, Cox picked up a silver medal in the 2011 World Cup and a bronze medal in the 2007 World Cup.
Prior to the NWSL, Cox played for the Los Angeles Sol and Boston Breakers of the WPS.
Cox attended the University of Portland between 2003 and 2007. In 2005, after returning to the Pilots following a redshirt season to play for the USWNT, Cox helped lead her team to an undefeated record of 23-0-2 and a NCAA Championship. Cox finished her collegiate career with one goal and 10 assists.
"Steph has been a brilliant player and leader for this club," said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. "She has been a huge part of this club since we started in 2013 and will be hugely missed. I wish her and her family every happiness in the future. Steph will always have a place at Reign FC.”