Orlando Pride Midfielder Joanna Fennema Announces Retirement

NWSL Pros Soccer Womens

UNC-product made 19 appearances in 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Pride midfielder Joanna Fennema, formerly Boyles, has announced her retirement from professional soccer, stepping away from the game due to a chronic back injury.

“Although my heart and my head wish to continue, my body is saying to stop. After a sudden back injury, it is in my best interest for my future health to retire from soccer,” Fennema said. “I’d like to thank the entire Orlando Pride organization, my coaches who helped me fulfill a dream, and my teammates who became great friends throughout my time in Orlando. To the fans, thank you for embracing me over the last year. Orlando will always hold a special place in my heart.”

“We are devastated for Jo but thankful that she was able to catch this injury now and we 100% support her decision to put her health first,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Marc Skinner said. “Jo embodied the passion and dedication of the Pride crest and we are thankful we were able to work with her, even if it was for just a season. We wish Jo the best of luck and she will always be a part of our Pride family.”

Fennema, 25, joined the Pride ahead of the 2019 season following a year with the Chicago Red Stars as a National Team Replacement Player. She would go on to appear in 19 matches last season, making her professional debut in the Pride’s season-opener against the Portland Thorns on April 14. Fennema scored her lone goal of the season in a 2-2 draw at Houston on June 16, a match in which she also notched one of her two assists on the year.

A graduate of collegiate powerhouse University of North Carolina, Fennema made 84 appearances as a Tar Heel, scoring 14 goals while recording 17 assists in four seasons. She was selected by the Red Stars with the 25th pick in the Boston Breakers Dispersal Draft after being taken No. 32 overall in the 2018 College Draft by the Breakers before they ceased operations.

On the international stage, she appeared for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the U-17 level, playing at the 2012 World Cup in Azerbaijan and was a member of the squad that won the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Guatemala.