Kiley Neushul, one of the best players of the USA women’s national team, won’t play at the Tokyo Olympics.
A few months before the Olympic Games, the 28-year-old driver announced the retirement from the national team.
Neushul played for Team USA between 2013 and 2020. She won the Olympic gold in Rio in 2016, three titles at the World Championships (2015, 2017, 2019), gold at the 2019 Pan American Games, several gold medals in the World League, etc.
Kiley had different plans last year. She planned to play for the USA at the Tokyo Olympics and then move to Italy to join her husband, who s a coach of U12 boys and girls at Pro Recco.
But, the postponement of the Olympic Games changed her plans and she decided to retire from the national team.
“I don’t know if I would have been in the right headspace to continue on. I think, you know, I’m working full time for a company now. I’m studying full time. So I’m able to pursue other things that I’ve always been interested in. And I think for me personally, I’m in a good place. And that’s what matters”, Neushul told The Associated Press.
If everything goes as planned, she will graduate in September (in information systems). But, her playing career isn’t over yet. As she said, she will play for New York Athletic Club at some point down the road.
Team USA coach Adam Krikorian said that it was impossible to replace Neushul.
“She is one of the best players ever to play the game, and we don’t have anyone like her”, Krikorian told the Associated Press.
Kiley Neushul played for Stanford in the USA and won three NCAA titles. She also has experience of playing in Europe. Neushul competed for Sabadell from 2016 – 2019 and won the 2019 Euro League. She was named MVP of the gold medal game at the 2017 FINA World Championships and earned a number of personal awards.
Her sisters Jamie and Ryann are also water polo players. They are among the candidates for the USA team for Tokyo.