Portland Thorns FC defender Kat Williamson announced her retirement from professional soccer on Monday. Williamson played four seasons in the NWSL and helped guide the Thorns to a championship in the league’s inaugural season in 2013.
Williamson is 27 years old. She did not specify her reason for retiring.
“Playing for this organization for three years, I just feel so fortunate and blessed. Merritt Paulson and Gavin Wilkinson truly care about us as players, not only on the field, but off the field as well,” Williamson said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I think the thing I’ll miss the most is just the support that we’ve gotten from the fans throughout our four years as a team and will continue to get in the future.”
[MORE: Seattle Reign transfer 2014 NWSL MVP Kim Little back to Arsenal]
Williamson was the team’s first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in the 2013 NWSL College Draft after four seasons at the University of Florida. She played in 70 career NWSL games, including playoff appearances. She spent the 2014 season with the Western New York Flash.
An early-season injury in 2016 limited Williamson to just five appearances last season as the Thorns marched to their first-ever Shield as regular-season champions.
“It has been a pleasure to get to know Kat and to coach her this season,” Thorns coach Mark Parsons said. “In a challenging year with the early injury, Kat continued to show amazing qualities to get back to full fitness and continue to support and be there for the team. She has been an important professional on the pitch and a special character in the locker room. I wish her the best in her next step and know she will go on to do great things in life.”
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