USWNT, Portland Thorns FC’s Rachel Van Hollebeke Retires

Photo: U.S. Soccer

By MC Bousquette

Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke (née Buehler) joins the lengthening list of USWNT players moving on to the next chapter of their lives.

Van Hollebeke retires with 113 national team caps and two Olympic gold medals – one from 2008, and another from 2012. She narrowly missed making the 2015 Women’s World Cup, one of the final two players cut before the roster was finalized. She currently plays for Portland Thorns FC, but may not be able to continue with the club if they make the playoffs, as she will begin class in September.

Van Hollebeke’s next step is a big one – she begins medical school at UC San Diego next month. She graduated pre-med from Stanford University in 2008 with a major in human biology. She was accepted into UCSD in 2011, but has deferred her admission since then.

In a U.S. Soccer press release, Van Hollebeke shared, “I’m sad to be leaving the game because I love soccer, I love my teammates and I love Portland, but it’s also been a passion of mine for a long time to attend medical school, and this is the right time to start that journey. Soccer has been a huge part of my life, but I am so excited for this next step. I feel ready. I felt a shift this year and it was the right time to begin this part of my life.”