Heather O’Reilly grew up in East Brunswick, NJ and was immediately introduced to sports and competition by her three older brothers. Although her natural athletic ability was seen early on, she credits her family for instilling in her a high level of competitiveness and self-discipline.
She took those attributes and ran with them, successfully making her way up the soccer ranks through the soccer club system in NJ and the NJ Olympic Development Program. This led O’Reilly to a platform of representing her country at the youth national team level, winning the inaugural Under-19 World Cup. Shining in the tournament, Heather was given an opportunity to bring her speed, tenacity, and attacking ability to the US Women’s National Team.
In 2002, at the young age of 17, Heather earned her first cap with the National Team. In 2004, her soccer dreams became a reality by being named the youngest member of the 2004 Olympic Team, which allowed O’Reilly to compete alongside household soccer names such as Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, and Kristine Lilly. O’Reilly proved that she not only could survive, but also thrive at that level. One of her greatest accomplishments is scoring the game winner in the semi-finals of the 2004 Olympics, sending the USWNT into the final, which they went on to win.
From 2003-2006, O'Reilly played for the prestigious soccer powerhouse UNC under the watchful eye of coaching legend Anson Dorrance, winning two national championships with the program and having the honor of her jersey retired.
For nearly 15 years, O'Reilly was a consistent contributor to the U.S. Women's National Team. From 2002-2016, she suited up for her country 231 times, scoring 47 goals with 55 assists. After representing her country in three Olympic Games, and three World Cups, O'Reilly retired from international play on September 15, 2016 in an emotional farewell match against Thailand in which she walked off the field to a standing ovation from her teammates and fans. O'Reilly continues to compete in professional club environments.
DOB: January 2, 1985
Height: 5' 5"
College: University of North Carolina
Teams: NC Courage
In 2013, the Heather O’Reilly Soccer Academy was founded. The Academy leads various soccer training events throughout the year and across the country. Heather conducts all of the programs herself, along with an experienced group of trainers and staff.
The focus of the Academy is to instill some of the qualities that have helped Heather excel at the highest level: competitiveness, hard work, leadership, a positive attitude, and a relentless attacking personality. The majority of the curriculum of the Academy is developed around a one v one mentality, and much of the training will be spent working on finishing and going to goal.
The Heather O’Reilly Soccer Academy runs an annual “girls only” summer camp in Heather’s hometown of East Brunswick, NJ and puts on a Hometown Holiday clinic series in New Jersey as well. Heather has run sessions along the east coast, and can travel over distance if her schedule and circumstances permit.
In addition to one-day clinics and summer soccer camps, Heather is available to come to your club as a guest trainer. Learn from the best, as Heather has an enormous wealth of knowledge and expertise from her experiences with UNC, the US National Team, and professional club environments!
If you are interested in attending an Academy event, or in having Heather come lead a session for your club or team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org about availability and rates.
America Scores inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. America SCORES has created a unique soccer, physical activity, and health curriculum used exclusively in SCORES elementary after-school soccer practices.
Right To Play's mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.> Visit Heather's RTP blog post
Founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.
In partnership with professional athletes, corporations, foundations, celebrities and individual teammates, we help children in the areas of health, education and inner city.
Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand.Read Heather's pledge
“I truly feel like one of the best things about being a professional soccer player is the ability to positively impact young people. Sports have been an incredibly important part of my life. They have shaped me in countless ways. Sports have given me discipline, a healthy lifestyle, lasting friendships, and have taught me so many life lessons. That’s why I feel compelled to give back though various sport for development organizations. Because play truly can change lives.”
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