Christen Press confirms career break to focus on mental health

Jamie Spencer
Christen Press has ruled herself out of upcoming USWNT matches
Christen Press has ruled herself out of upcoming USWNT matches / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

USWNT forward Christen Press has confirmed that she will be taking a break from her career for the next ‘couple of months’ in order to focus on her mental health.

That decision will rule the two-time World Cup winner out of at least four upcoming international matches scheduled against Paraguay and South Korea later this month and in October – the USWNT will play each opponent twice. One further game is also planned for December.

Press is currently at a natural break in her club career after leaving English club Manchester United over the summer and agreeing to join new NWSL club Angel City, who won’t debut until 2022.

But the 32-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the Olympics this year, has decided to rule herself out of contention for international matches in the immediate future.

“I’ve been a professional player for 10 years. And I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve been available for nearly every professional match for both club and country,” Press explained in a statement posted on social media.

“And yet, that has come with a focus, intensity, and prioritization that has left little room for much else. I’ve made the difficult decision to take a couple of months away from the game to focus on my mental health, spiritual growth, and processing grief.

“I’m sad to miss the upcoming games and seeing all of our wonderful fans. I believe I will come back stronger than ever. Thanks for all your support on my journey.”

Press made her senior USWNT debut in 2013 and has played 155 matches, scoring 64 goals. She has previously played at club level in the United States for Utah Royals and Chicago Red Stars, while her club career has also taken her to Sweden as well as England.

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