Abby Erceg announces retirement from international soccer

Abby Erceg announced her retirement from international soccer via an Instagram post on Monday.

In the announcement, Erceg stated that “Due to the unfortunate and unfavorable circumstances within the organization that is NZF, it is with regret and great sadness that today is the day that I announce my retirement from the international game. Without being able to justify my involvement any longer I will be stepping back in the hopes to create change for the current and future generations of NZ footballers.”

Abby Erceg during the Rio 2016 Olympics | Source: Joem Pollex - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Abby Erceg during the Rio 2016 Olympics | Source: Joem Pollex - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Erceg was one of New Zealand’s most capped players (130), having made her debut for the Ferns in 2006 at just 16 years of age. She also earned the distinction of being the first soccer player from New Zealand, male or female, to reach 100 caps. She represented her country at three Olympics and two World Cups and was given the captain’s armband in 2014. More recently Erceg had been named to the Cyprus Cup roster from March 1-8.

Erceg still to play in NWSL

In her statement on Instagram, Erceg said that “I will continue to enjoy a professional career at a club level which I still find great joy in and I look forward to taking on that endeavor in the coming years.” She added, “Time to move on to places where female footballers are appreciated, respected and endorsed. I hope that NZF one day has this philosophy.”

Erceg is currently a member of the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL. She was part of that team in 2016 when they were known as the Western New York Flash. Erceg appeared in 17 games, starting 16, for the Flash. She split time between center-back and defensive midfielder roles, providing a critical cog on a defense that helped lead the team to the 2016 NWSL Championship victory. Prior to joining the Flash, she had previously played for the NWSL team the Chicago Red Stars during the 2015 and 2014 seasons.