October 14, 2010
CALLING IT QUITS
Markgraf retires after 201 caps
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Kate Markgraf on Thursday became the latest member of the 1999 U.S. Women’s World Cup winning team to announce her retirement from soccer. Markgraf made 21 starts for the Chicago Red Stars of Women’s Professional Soccer this year, and also earned her 200th international cap, after taking a year off from playing while giving birth to twins.
|Former Boston Breaker Kate Markgraf became the third member of the 1999 Women's World Cup winning team to announce her retirement this year.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Two other members of the iconic 1999 Championship team, Brandi Chastain and Brianna Scurry retired earlier this year. Only two players from that squad are still active, Bay Area FC’s Tiffeny Milbrett and the Boston Breaker’s Kristine Lilly, who on Wednesday was named the U.S. National team that will attempt to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.
Markgraf logged 1,873 minutes for the Red Stars, and played three matches for the U.S., pushing her cap total to 201 becoming one of only seven U.S. players to reach that mark.
The mother of three -- Markgraf twins Carson (girl) and Xavier (boy) and another son, Keegan -- earned her 200th career cap for the U.S. during a 1-1 draw against Sweden on July 13 in Omaha, Neb. Markgraf, typically a center back, made the switch to right back and also wore the captain's armband.
Markgraf "It feels great," Markgraf said after the match. "I ended 2008 with 198 games and I was two shy of 200, and I always wanted to get to 200. But I got pregnant with twins and I thought I was done. Then I got a call from [U.S. Head Coach] Pia [Sundhage], and it's just a really big honor and a great opportunity. It was awesome."
The 34-year-old native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., was a four-year starter at Notre Dame, starting in all 96 games during her collegiate career. She was a three-time NCAA All-American, earning first-team honors twice.
Markgraf played for three seasons for the Boston Breakers of the WUSA from 2001 to 2003, helping lead the Breakers to the playoffs for the first time during their 2003 WUSA season.