Ashleigh Sykes retires
Sykes won the NWSL Championship in October with the Thorns

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Ashleigh Sykes announced her retirement from professional soccer on Thursday.

Sykes appeared in 15 matches for the Thorns last year after joining the team in June. She capped off her season with a start in the NWSL Championship, which the Thorns won.

In an open letter to Thorns fans posted on the Thorns official website, Sykes thanks Portland’s owner Merritt Paulson, general manager Gavin Wilkinson and coach Mark Parsons and said that she looks forward to moving on to the next stage in her life.

“It was always a goal of mine to test myself in the NWSL, and to play for one of the biggest women’s clubs in the world was an amazing experience, one that exceeded all my expectations. To come away with a championship and to get to play in front of Portland’s incredible fans is something I still struggle to describe,” she wrote.


Sykes also played for Canberra United FC in Australia’s W-League. She appeared in 10 games last season and scored four goals.


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