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San Diego Wave FC’s Carly Telford announces retirement as player

Goalkeeper hangs up her gloves.

Nikita Taparia

San Diego Wave FC are getting ready for the start of their second season, but they will be doing it now with one fewer player, as goalkeeper Carly Telford announced her retirement on Wednesday.

Telford, 35, wrote a lengthy letter and posted it to her social media channels announcing the end of her playing career: “After 20 years of playing this beautiful game, it’s time for me to hang up the old boots and gloves...I feel so lucky and blessed to have been able to do this for so many years.”

Telford spent her career in her native England, with short stops in Australia and the U.S. Beginning her senior career with Sunderland in 2002, Telford also played for Leeds, Notts County and had three separate stints with Chelsea, winning three league titles, a women’s FA Cup, and two Leagues Cups. She also spent a season with Perth Glory in the A-League Women, and joined San Diego Wave for their debut season in 2022, making six appearances across all competitions for the expansion club. While her initial action in the Challenge Cup was admittedly rocky, Telford came good in four appearances in the regular season, and her regular instructions on the sideline left her looking like a coach in the making.

Telford was also an England international, making 27 senior caps and called up for a slew of tournaments to serve as the backup, finally making her tournament debut in 2019 at the World Cup.

“Carly is an extraordinary person, athlete and professional and it’s been an honor not just to be her coach, but a former teammate as well,” said San Diego Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney in a team statement. “She always had a positive attitude in whatever role she was asked to play for this club and was the perfect pro. We will support her as she moves forward with this next step in her career and life, and we wish her the best of luck.”

With Telford’s retirement, San Diego officially now have two goalkeepers on their roster, starter Kailen Sheridan and rookie Lauren Brzykcy, whose signing was announced on Tuesday. Given Sheridan will head out on international duty this year for a long stretch, Wave FC will need to sign another goalkeeper at some point to either fill in for Sheridan while she’s gone or to backup Brzykcy. We’ll see what happens, but best wishes to Carly on her future endeavors.

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