Cary, NC (May 27, 2017)- North Carolina Courage defender Courtney Niemiec has announced her retirement from professional soccer to pursue other opportunities.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make,” said Niemiec. “This team will always be my family, and this made the decision to walk away even harder. I had an opportunity to pursue some of my other dreams, and I couldn’t pass that up, but this team will always have a special place in my heart.”
Niemiec joined the NC Courage from the Western New York Flash, where she was a member of the 2016 NWSL Championship team. She started in four out of six games played for the Flash in 2016. Prior to Western New York, she played for the Portland Thorns from 2014-2015.
“I was fortunate enough to come into the game as an undrafted rookie and signing a contract my senior year,” she continued. “I enjoyed every aspect of being a professional soccer player and winning a championship last year with this team made my time in the NWSL and with this group of outstanding women even more special.”
A product of La Salle University, Niemiec scored eight goals and had 14 assists for the Explorers from 2010-2013. In 2012, she was named ECAC Defensive Player of the year.
“I would like to thank Steve Malik, Curt Johnson, Paul, Scott and the whole North Carolina Football Club and NC Courage organization for bringing the team here and make us feel so welcome,” she said. “I am really glad I could be a part of The New State of Soccer and look forward to the club’s continued success as they continue to grow into one of the best women’s and men’s soccer clubs in the country.”
NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley had the pleasure of coaching Niemiec with the Portland Thorns from 2014-2015, the Western New York Flash in 2016, and most recently, the NC Courage in 2017.
"Nort has been a brilliant professional in Portland, WNY, and North Carolina,” said Riley. “It has been a privilege to live her dream with her. She is a great locker room personality, has improved enormously and is the consummate team player. She is retiring to go pursue her dreams and I’m certain the people she will encounter along the way will thoroughly enjoy and learn from Nort's professional career, her vast knowledge of defending and the humorous side of a pure soccer personality. We wish her tremendous success in her new adventure, and she will be sorely missed by her Courage family."
The NC Courage and the entire North Carolina Football Club would like to wish Courtney the absolute best in her future endeavors. She will forever be a part of the NCFC family, and the organization appreciates the hard-work and spirit she brought to North Carolina for the 2017 season.