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NWSL Players Association president Brooke Elby retires from Chicago Red Stars

Chicago Red Stars midfielder Brooke Elby celebrates a goal in a 2-0 win against the Utah Royals on Aug. 3, 2019. (ISI Photos/Chicago Red Stars)

Brooke Elby wasn’t a national team player or an all-NWSL pick, but she was an important figure among National Women’s Soccer League players.

When Yael Averbuch retired after the 2018 season, Elby succeeded her as the NWSL Players Association’s president. Now Elby, 26, is retiring herself.

“It was always going to be a difficult decision when and how to retire, but playing soccer in this league has provided me with so many experiences and opportunities and I am excited to take on my new role as co-executive director,” Elby said in a statement released Monday. “I can’t wait to continue working with the players and league to grow the NWSL, and I want to thank my teammates, the Red Stars’ organization and the fans for a wonderful playing career.”

Elby is moving alongside Averbuch to be co-executive director of the NWSL PA. Averbuch held that role by herself in 2019.

The Players Association also announced the full leadership structure for 2020 following Elby’s move. Tori Hunter of the Washington Spirit moves up from vice president to president. Portland Thorns defender Emily Menges and Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart are also on the PA’s executive board board.

As a player, Elby tallied the first two goals of her NWSL career with the Red Stars this past season. The University of North Carolina product was with Chicago the past two seasons after starting her pro career with the Boston Breakers and Utah.

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