Jen Buczkowski

Midfielder Jen Buczkowski to retire on May 13

FC Kansas City midfielder Jen Buczkowski, the only player to start every regular season match in National Women’s Soccer League history, will hang up her cleats one week from now and attend physical therapy school at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Buczkowski will play her final game against her hometown Chicago Red Stars on Friday, May 13 and then focus on preparing to begin classes on June 1.

“It will be difficult to transition from playing soccer every day to being in the classroom, but I am excited to start that next journey,” Buczkowski said.

Buczkoski started her professional career in 2009 and has played for teams in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Kansas City. She has reached the playoffs in each of her seven seasons with six finals appearances. She has three league titles, including two with the Blues.

“When you go to the finals almost every year and win as many championships as you have, it has to have something to do with Bucz,” Blues coach Vlakto Andonovski said. “Her stats speak for themselves.”

Buczkowski’s consistency dates back to her days at Notre Dame, where she set a school record with 103 career games. That ranks sixth all-time in the NCAA record book.

She played every minute of the 2011 and 2013 seasons in Women’s Professional Soccer and NWSL and barely misses the mark in the Blues’ last two seasons. She has played 6,100 of the possible 6,210 minutes of NWSL play with two goals and six assists.

“Bucz was one of the first players who made the commitment to join our club back in 2012. She was a player who was very much wanted by all of the other clubs, but she put her faith in an organization that had no history in women’s professional soccer,” Blues general manager Huw Williams said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that her commitment went a long way in helping us attain the success we have experienced over the past three years. Her ironman performances on the field have been legendary but it has truly been a pleasure getting to know Bucz off the field. She is a class player and a person. She will be a big loss but we whole heartedly wish her the very best”

Buczkowski said she intends to keep coaching with the KC Legends organization, where she has led teams since January 2014.

“Every year previously I would go back home in the offseason and not really want to hang around, but I’ve really liked Kansas City,” Buczkowski said. “I’ve picked up coaching teams and love those girls and I think it’s a great atmosphere with a lot of support for soccer. It’s like my home now.”

Text and Photo: FC Kansas City press release.

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