Soccer Fern Anna Green’s surprise retirement announcement after the US series

The scorer of one of the Ferns’ most spectacular goals has ruled himself out of World Cup contention, retiring from international duty less than a week after starting for the United States.

Sydney FC fullback Anna Green made the surprise announcement on social media on Friday night that she was ending her international career after playing 82 times for New Zealand.

Green has made just two appearances in coach Jitka Klimková’s first 16 matches in charge, but has played with a host of frontline players missing minutes in 4-0 and 5-0 defeats to the US in Wellington and Auckland this month.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, 32-year-old Klimkova has been pegged as one of the top performers in the role – suggesting she has done enough to secure a recall for fixtures in Argentina and Portugal next month while keeping her in the mix for the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia later this year.

Anna Green in action for the Football Ferns during an international friendly against the US in Auckland.

Anna Peters/Getty Images

Anna Green in action for the Football Ferns during an international friendly against the US in Auckland.

Green spoke after the Auckland defeat about the lengths she had gone to to keep her home living the World Cup dream, taking a sabbatical from her accounting job in Wellington and moving to Australia to play for Sydney FC in the Women’s A-League.

However, his playing season ended with just one start and one brief substitute appearance for the Sky Blues.

While Klimková’s praise would offer renewed hope for a World Cup spot, Green is set to be one of several defenders for one or the other spot in the final 23-strong squad.

Green made his international debut in a 3-0 defeat of China in 2006 and went on to represent New Zealand in three World Cups and four Olympics.

He scored eight goals for the Football Ferns, including a wonder strike against the Matildas last year, which ranks among the most spectacular by New Zealand on the international stage.

Green rushed down the left wing, first shot to hit the ball in the middle and beat the goalkeeper from a tight angle, from well outside the penalty area.

In a social media post, Green said the last 16 years representing New Zealand had been an incredible journey and more than she could have ever hoped for when she made her Football Ferns debut as a teenager.

“It’s the people that make this journey so special and I’m pretty lucky to have met the best of them,” he said.

“Ferns I close my head full of thanksgiving and motion for the premises.”

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