Retired USWNT midfielder Heather O'Reilly heads to Arsenal
Retired US national team midfielder Heather O'Reilly has signed an 18-month deal with Arsenal of England's top women's division.
O'Reilly, 32, won three Olympic gold medals and the 2015 World Cup over a 15-year career with the national team before her retirement from international play last September.
She finished her national team career with 231 international appearances, ranking her seventh in team history. She has 47 career goals with the team, 12th on the team's career list, and 55 assists, tied for fifth on the all-time list.
She also played for the Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League.
"Playing at such a historic club like Arsenal is an incredible professional and personal opportunity. Although I am a firm believer in the quality and importance of the NWSL, I do believe that by going to London at this time in my career will not only give me a broader experience on the field, but also off the pitch," O'Reilly said in an Instagram post. "I have an immense passion for this amazing sport, and I am looking forward to equipping myself with a global experience, while helping Arsenal Ladies achieve their big ambitions."
O'Reilly is set to make her debut for Arsenal at a celebration match Friday marking the retirement of veteran Kelly Smith at the team's Meadow Park field.
"She is a world class player and one of the most respected players in the US. Her determination and character will make a big difference for this club," Arsenal manager Pedro Martinez Losa said. "She will bring here a legacy of values, hard work and professionalism which will also help our young players to develop."
O'Reilly joins a growing list of women who are headed overseas to play. National team forward Alex Morgan signed with Lyon in France as did Canadian national team defender Kadeisha Buchanan. Canadian Ashley Lawrence signed with Paris Saint-Germain, and American forward Crystal Dunn joined Chelsea.