On Friday, Sky Blue FC announced that defender Christie Pearce was placed on the injury list for the remainder of the 2017 season due to accumulative injuries.
“I’ve always had a really good awareness of my body and the ability to recover,” Pearce said in the team’s official release. “I feel that I started the season off strong, but I’ve been consistently fighting through injuries, and I’m not able to give to the team what I consider to be my 100%. This decision, while it is hard to swallow, I know is the right thing for me and the team because I just can’t leave it all on the field every day.”
“Something I must do is personally thank all of the fans,” she continued. “I feel so privileged to have their unwavering support, and they have always stood by me through thick and thin. I am also very confident that the team will push on this season in my absence. Erica [Skroski] and Mandy [Freeman] are now back to full fitness, and they will make significant contributions to the team’s success the rest of the way.”
Pearce has been with Sky Blue FC since the beginning of the NWSL in 2013. Since the beginning of the league, she’s racked up 86 appearances, 85 starts and 5,867 regular season minutes in New Jersey. She’s also scored two goals and added two assists, and also earned Player of the Week honors in the league’s inaugural season.
“It goes without saying that Christie Pearce will be greatly missed throughout the rest of the 2017 season,” Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager, said in the release. “We must always remember that players have a life off the field as well, and their personal well-being must remain at the forefront of a decision like this.”
Some very tough news to deliver. Christie Pearce will miss the remainder of the season due to accumulative injuries. https://t.co/NgZa5Vg8jV
— Sky Blue FC (@SkyBlueFC) August 18, 2017
With her 2017 campaign finished, there’s no formal announcement on if this is the end of her player career. But in June, Pearce told Adweek that she was ready for retirement and moving to the next stage with soccer. “I’m ready. This year was about enjoying it and having fun,” she said. “There have been a lot of younger players in the back line, so it was about getting them prepared and ready for this season and next season so I could step away from the team in a better place than I found it. I’m a player-coach, in a way.”
Earlier this year, Pearce was also recognized by U.S. Soccer for the close of her long career with the women’s national team. The former USWNT captain earned 311 caps, and won two FIFA Women’s World Cups in 1999 and 2015 with the team, as well as three Olympic Gold Medals and one Silver Medal during her career.
Healing time! Thank you to everyone! Feel so privileged, got Lucky to help through the injuries! pic.twitter.com/jiq4fZkdFV
— Christie Rampone (@christierampone) August 18, 2017
During her time with Sky Blue FC, the team’s overall record has been 38-39-27, and the team earned 24 clean sheets. Perhaps most indicative of her style of play, in 86 appearances, Pearce only ever earned one yellow card.
The season still goes on for Sky Blue FC, as they host the Seattle Reign on Saturday, with playoff hopes on the line for both teams.