In a legendary career in which she represented the U.S. national team in four different decades, Kristine Lilly won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. Her 352 international appearances are the most by any player, male or female, in the history of soccer. Lilly first made the U.S. national team in 1987, at age 16, and didn't retire from soccer until earlier this year, at 39. In that span she scored 130 international goals, second only to Mia Hamm, and appeared in five World Cups. A few days before the U.S.-Japan World Cup final, espnW caught up with Lilly, a Connecticut native and Massachusetts resident, to get her thoughts on this year's American team, and on how the game has evolved since she started competing internationally 24 years ago.
Jane McManus: Can you sum up the past 12 years in a few sentences?
Kristine Lilly: (Laughs) I just retired in January, so I've been playing for the U.S. since [the World Cup in 1999]. I was playing professionally with the Boston Breakers with the WPS for two years. And I run my own personal camps, Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy camps, and just finished that up this week in Wilton, Conn. And this past year, Mia Hamm, myself and Tisha Venturini-Hoch started our own camp called Team First Soccer Academy.
JM: And on the personal front?
KL: I got married in 2006, had a baby girl in 2008 and am going to have another one in September.