Kristen Graczyk retires from soccer

Kristen Graczyk, who played two seasons with FC Gold Pride in Women’s Professional Soccer has announced her retirement. The 27-year-old midfielder started 10 games and made a total of 16 appearances for the WPS Champions in 2010. In her first season with FC Gold Pride, Graczyk played in 20 games, starting 18 of them.

“The decision to retire wasn’t as difficult as I once thought it would be,” Graczyk said. “I feel like it was the right time for me, and I feel comfortable with where my future lies, outside of soccer. Winning the championship with the Pride in 2010 definitely made the transition easier. It’s always nice to go out on a winning note. The decision would have been harder had the Pride not folded but given where I am today, I am extremely thankful to have been a part of the organization and am glad I will end my career as a member of the Pride.”

Graczyk talked about what it was like to play on the professional level.

“Playing professionally was always a dream of mine, and the pursuit of that goal has been the greatest experience in my life,” she said. “The WPS is the best league in the world, and to have the opportunity to play in the league, with the best players in the world, is something I am truly honored to have been a part of. I am so thankful for the opportunity and for everything the league stands for.”

Currently living in Denver, Graczyk is working in sales and said she wants to continue to be involved in the game.

“I plan to stay heavily involved in soccer, mostly on the youth side and continue my volunteer work here in Denver,” she said. “I feel that I have been so blessed and want to give back to young females who have their own dreams.”

Graczyk holds the record at the University of Connecticut for goals and points scored in NCAA tournament play. From 2001 through 2004, she led the Huskies in scoring all four seasons. From 2003-2004, Graczyk played for the Chicago Cobras of the W-League. She also played two seasons for SoccerPlusCT of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.