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Heather Blaine Mitts Feeley (born June 9, 1978), née Heather Blaine Mitts, is a retired American professional soccer defender. Mitts played college soccer for the University of Florida, and thereafter, she played professionally in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league; for the Philadelphia Charge,Boston BreakersPhiladelphia Independence and Atlanta Beat. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and was a member of the U.S. women's national team. She played in four matches in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where the U.S. national team finished second. Heather announced her retirement from soccer via twitter on March 13, 2013.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Mitts was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978 and began playing soccer at the age of six.[1][2] From 1993 to 1996, she attended St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, where she played high school soccer and helped the team tally a 70-5-1 record during her time with the team. During her freshman season, the team won the state title. During her junior and senior years, Mitts earned all-state honors.[1][3]

University of Florida Gators[edit]Edit

Mitts received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Becky Burleigh's Florida Gators women's soccer team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 1996 to 1999.[1] Mitts was part of the defensive line that helped the Gators win their first-ever NCAA Women's Soccer Championship in 1998.[1] She was named a third-team All-American in 1998 and a first-team All-American in 1999, and became the Gators' all-time record holder in appearances (95), starts (94), and minutes played (7,547).[1] She graduated from the University of Florida with abachelor's degree in advertising in 2000. She will be inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in spring 2013.[4]

Playing career[edit]Edit

Club[edit]Edit

Tampa Bay Extreme, 2000[edit]Edit

[1][2]Mitts with the Independence in May 2010

Straight out of college, Mitts played for Tampa Bay Extreme of W-League in 2000 while waiting for the launch of the new Women's United Soccer Association league.[5]

Philadelphia Charge, 2001-03[edit]Edit

Upon the WUSA's launch and inaugural season in 2001, Mitts was drafted to the Philadelphia Charge.[6] With the club, she appeared in twenty games (1,751 minutes) in the inaugural season and added two assists. Throughout her Charge career, Mitts appeared in fifty-one games (4,414 minutes) and recorded eight assists over three seasons. She was named as a WUSA All-Star in 2003.[7] Unfortunately, after the 2003 season, the WUSA ceased operations.

Central Florida Krush, 2005[edit]Edit

Mitts returned to the W-League in 2005, playing sparingly for Central Florida Krush while splitting her time between the United States Women's National Team. She appeared in four games (360 minutes).[citation needed]

WPS Years, 2009–11[edit]Edit

[3][4]Heather Mitts signing autographs for fans in 2011.

Upon the introduction of Women's Professional Soccer, Mitts and fellow USWNT players Angela Hucles and Kristine Lillywere allocated to the Boston Breakers on September 16, 2008.[8] In the inaugural 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, Mitts appeared in nineteen games (all starts, 1,631 minutes) and added an assist.[9] After the season, the Boston Breakers declared Mitts a free agent.

On October 14, 2009, Mitts signed with 2010 WPS expansion team Philadelphia Independence, marking her return to play professional soccer in Philadelphiafollowing the demise of the WUSA's Philadelphia Charge.[9]

In January 2011, Mitts signed with the Atlanta Beat and played right defensive back during the 2011 season.[10]

NWSL, 2013[edit]Edit

In 2013, Mitts was allocated to Boston Breakers in the new National Women's Soccer League; however, she retired before the start of the season.[11]

International[edit]Edit

Mitts is a three-time Olympic gold-medalist as a member of the U.S. National Women's team in the 20042008, and 2012 Summer Olympics and has represented the United States in over 100 international matches. She was also a member of the U.S. national team who finished second in the 2006 Algarve Cup.[9]

On May 12, 2007, Mitts tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in an international friendly match with Canada. The injury put Mitts out of contention for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.[12]

On May 9, 2011, Mitts was named to the U.S. roster for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament in Germany.[13] She was on the United States women's soccer team roster for the 2012 London Olympics, and played all 90 minutes of the match against Colombia in group stage.[14]

On March 13, 2013, Mitts officially announced her retirement from the national team as well as the Breakers. She will now serve as sideline reporter for Philadelphia Union games and become a team ambassador [15]

Career statistics[edit]Edit

International goals[edit]Edit

Mitts scored 2 goals in international matches, which are both game winners.

Date Location Opponent Lineup Min Assist/pass Score Result Competition
1 Jul 3, 2004[16] Nashville TN Canada Start 73 Shannon Boxx

1–0

1–0

Friendly
2 Sep 25, 2004[17] Rochester NY Iceland

on 46' (off Reddick)

93+ Julie Foudy

4–3

4–3

Friendly

Personal life[edit]Edit

Mitts is known for her athletic ability and her looks, and as a result, has delved into the world of modeling. In 2001, Mitts was voted as the sexiest player in the WUSA on Playboy Online. In addition, she appeared on the cover of Philadelphia magazine in June 2002 as one of the city's "Sexiest Singles." In 2004, she was voted ESPN.com’s "Hottest Female Athlete". She also appeared in the 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.[18]

Mitts has held a number of television commentary jobs. She has served as a studio analyst for ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 during the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and was a sideline reporter for several MLS broadcasts in 2005. In addition to soccer, she also was a sideline reporter for college football during 2005 for ESPN.[9]

After several years of an on-again-off-again relationship,[19] Mitts married NFL quarterback A.J. Feeley in February 2010.

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