Orlando Pride forward Darian Jenkins retires

Sep 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; North Carolina Courage forward Rikki Madsen (17) and Orlando
Sep 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; North Carolina Courage forward Rikki Madsen (17) and Orlando / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Pride forward Darian Jenkins announced her retirement from professional soccer Wednesday. The 28-year-old attacker played one season with the Pride and was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL Draft.

"After 21 years of playing, I have decided that it’s time for me to hang up my boots and step away from the beautiful game," Jenkins said in a statement released by the club. "My body and mind are ready for the next chapter. This isn’t an easy decision, but being able to retire on my own terms has given me peace."

Jenkins made 23 appearances in all competitions for the Pride last season, scoring four goals and providing two assists. Her first goal for Orlando was an historic one; she scored a 98th-minute equalizer against the Washington Spirit --- the latest regular season goal in league history at the time. The American forward also scored an equalizing goal in a draw against Racing Louisville at the Daytona SoccerFest.

“Darian is an incredible player, professional and teammate, and we are going to deeply miss her here in Orlando," Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said. "She’s a player who represented the values of our crest, both on and off the field, and we are lucky to have had her in purple."

Before joining the Pride, Jenkins played for the North Carolina Courage, OL Reign and Kansas City Current. She made 83 NWSL appearances in her career and scored 11 goals and provided three assits. Jenkins also played with the Melbourne Victory in Australia and Bordeaux in France.

She helped the UCLA Bruins win a national championship as a freshman in 2013. Jenkins was an All-Pac 12 selection in three of her four college seasons. She also made six national team appearances, representing the U17, U18 and U23 US Women's National Teams.