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Reign defender, 2008 Olympic champion Cox retires

Seattle Reign FC defender Stephanie Cox has retired from professional soccer. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Seattle Reign FC defender Stephanie Cox has retired from professional soccer. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Seattle Reign FC defender and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Cox announced her retirement on Monday.

Cox, 29, made 49 appearances for Seattle Reign FC across three seasons in the National Women’s Soccer League. She signed with the Reign midway through their inaugural season in 2013, after giving birth. Cox was an integral piece of Seattle’s league-leading defense in 2014 and to the Reign winning back-to-back NWSL Shields.

“The last three seasons with the Reign have been the best of my career,” Cox said. “I love the players, the staff, the ownership, and the amazing environment that has been created by all involved. 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.”

Cox appeared for the U.S. national team 89 times, including at the 2008 Olympics and at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. She previously competed under her maiden name, Stephanie Lopez.

Prior to the NWSL, Cox played for the Los Angeles Sol and Boston Breakers of WPS.

Cox attended the University of Portland from 2003-07, helping the Pilots to an undefeated season and an NCAA Championship in 2005 after redshirting the year prior to play with the U.S. women’s U-19 national team.

“Steph has been a brilliant player and leader for this club,” Reign head coach and general manager Laura Harvey said. “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.”

This fall, Cox began her first season as co-head coach of a Seattle-area high school girls soccer team.

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