Joanna Lohman retires from professional soccer after 16 years

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Joanna Lohman
HOUSTON, TX — MAY 27: Washington Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman (15) dons a mohawk haircut during the soccer match between the Washington Spirit and Houston Dash on May 27, 2018 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Boyds, Maryland (April 8, 2019) — Joanna Lohman is calling it a career.

After 16 years of playing professional soccer, the longtime veteran is hanging up her cleats and moving on to the next phase of her life. Lohman has been a fixture in United States soccer for more than a decade. She not only championed for the growth of women’s soccer in the country, but also the inclusion of LGBTQ athletes in all sports.

Joanna Lohman retires from professional soccer after 16 years

Lohman spent the last four seasons with the Washington Spirit. In Washington’s 2017 season opener, Lohman tore her ACL. However, after more than a year of rehabilitation, Lohman made her triumphant return to the pitch in March 2018 against the Reign FC.

A former Nittany Lion and graduate of Penn State University, Lohman began her career close to home. She was born and raised in Silver Springs, Maryland, and signed with the Maryland Pride in 2001. In 2006, she featured for the Washington Freedom in the former Women’s Professional Soccer league.

Meanwhile, Lohman even took her talents overseas, spending a season in Sweden with Bälinge IF in 2008. She returned to Europe in 2011, signing with RCD Espanyol Femenino. Also, Lohman also spent a portion of her career around the Philadelphia area, featuring for the former Philadelphia Independence.

When the NWSL began in 2013, Lohman joined the Boston Breakers. She remained with the Breakers for two seasons, scoring three goals. However, Lohman was waived by the Breakers following the 2014 season and immediately picked up by her hometown club, the Washington Spirit.

Her Spirit career provided her with 52 appearances. Internationally, Lohman has made nine appearances for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Lohman will be honored by the team on June 22, which is the Washington Spirit’s PRIDE night.

Joanna Lohman’s legacy in women’s soccer 

Dubbed a historical figure in women’s soccer by Washington Spirit CEO Larry Best, Lohman provided a veteran presence for the Spirit in her final seasons. However, when she wasn’t on the pitch, Lohman was the team’s biggest cheerleader.

Although retiring from action on the pitch, Lohman isn’t done working in women’s soccer. The Spirit announced that she will work for the club, “concentrating on community outreach based on soccer’s power to discover and define one’s self-worth and beauty. Lohman will aim to inspire and create a more personal connection with fans, players and those who need help on their journey towards self-acceptance.”

However, this is nothing new for Lohman.

She’s incredibly proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, normally sporting rainbow-colored gear during matches. Meanwhile, Lohman is a champion for LGBTQ+ athletes to take part in all sports, not just soccer.

“Joanna is the ultimate professional on and off the field, “Best said. “I’m delighted she has agreed to continue with the Spirit in a variety of duties. She remains an important part of our team and will continue to represent us in the community. Everyone with the Spirit congratulates Joanna on a remarkable playing career.”

Lohman said that she credits soccer to being a massive part of her journey to self-acceptance.

“[Soccer] served as an avenue for me to establish my true identity,” Lohman said. “I personally have experienced the power of sport… I want to make everyone who interacts with our organization to feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Lohman’s fellow and former teammates, WoSo community reacts

 

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