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Lauren Holiday

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Lauren Holiday
Lauren Cheney Warmup.jpg
February 2012
Personal information
Full name Lauren Nicole Holiday
Birth name Lauren Nicole Cheney
Date of birth (1987-09-30) September 30, 1987 (age 33)
Place of birth Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Position(s) Forward, midfielder
Youth career
Ben Davis High School
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 UCLA (71)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009 Pali Blues 10 (2)
2010–2011 Boston Breakers 32 (8)
2013–2015 FC Kansas City 48 (22)
National team
2004 United States U17
2006–2007 United States U20 20 (15)
2005 United States U21
2007–2015 United States 133 (24)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 5, 2015
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 25, 2015

Lauren Nicole Holiday (née Cheney; born September 30, 1987) is an American former professional Association football player who played as a midfielder and forward for the United States women's national football team from 2007 to 2015. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion. Holiday played professionally for FC Kansas City in the National Women's Football League (NWSL) and the Boston Breakers in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She played collegiate soccer for the UCLA Bruins.

Holiday won gold with the national team at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 2012 London Summer Olympics, and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. She played for the team at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup where the U.S. finished in second place and Holiday was named to the tournament's All-Star team.

In 2007, she was named U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.[1] She earned U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year honors in 2014.[2] She was the first player in NWSL history to have her jersey retired after retiring from the league.

Early life[edit]

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Rita and George Cheney, Holiday began playing soccer as a youth after watching her brother play the sport. She played on boys' teams until age 12.[3][4] She attended Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis where she was named the school's most valuable offensive player in 2004–05. In 2004, she was named Metro Player of the Year by the Indianapolis Star.[5] In 2006, she was named Parade All-American and was Gatorade Player of the Year in addition to receiving numerous regional awards including first-team All-Conference, All-County and All-State, and Indianapolis Star Super Team Player of the Year. She earned Indiana All-State selection honors each year of her high school career and was named NSCAA All-American three times. Holiday finished her high school career having scored 118 goals and served 67 assists.[6] She graduated mid-year in 2006 to train full-time with the United States U-20 women's national soccer team for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.[7]

UCLA Bruins, 2006–2009[edit]

In the fall of 2006, Holiday enrolled at UCLA, where she was named a first-team All-American and NSCAA Freshman of the Year.[8][9] She led the Pac-10 Conference with 19 goals, which also set a new UCLA freshman record with a goals-per-game percentage of .95.[10][11] As a sophomore in 2007, she was the runner-up for the women's Hermann Trophy and the Pac-10 Player of the Year. She led the conference again in goals scored with 23 and broke the UCLA single-season school records for points (57) and goals (23).[12]

Holiday became the first player in UCLA history to earn NSCAA/adidas First-Team All-America honors all four years of her career. At UCLA, she set new school records for points (173) and game-winning goals (28); and tied the career school record in goals with 71. She had 31 career assists, second place in the record book. During her four years, the Bruins played in consecutive NCAA College Cups.[12][13]

Playing career[edit]


Pali Blues, 2009[edit]

During the summer of 2009, Holiday joined Southern California team Pali Blues, in the W-League.[14] Throughout the entire regular season, the Blues did not lose a match and finished first in the Western Conference with a 9–0–3 record.[15] After defeating the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues 4–0 in the championship semi-final in which Holiday scored a goal in the 65th minute,[16] the Pali Blues clinched the championship title in a 2–1 defeat of the Washington Freedom Reserves on August 7, 2009.[17]

Boston Breakers, 2010–2011[edit]

Holiday playing in the rain against Saint Louis Athletica.

On January 15, 2010, Holiday was selected by the Boston Breakers as the second overall pick in the WPS Draft.[18] She played in 23 games for Boston during the 2010 season, starting in 21 matches and scoring five goals with two assists.[19] After Boston finished in second place during the regular season with a 10–8–6, the team advanced to the playoffs.[19] Holiday scored the team's lone goal in the 2–1 playoff loss against the Philadelphia Independence.[20] Holiday was named as a starter in the 2010 WPS All-Star Game and scored in the 79th minute.[21]

During the 2011 WPS season, Holiday made ten appearances for the club.[19] After returning to Boston following the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Holiday's brace during the team's final regular season match helped the Breakers clinch the last remaining spot in the playoffs. She was subsequently named WPS Player of the Week for week 18 of the season.[22] The Breakers finished the regular season in fourth place with a 5–9–4 The team was defeated 3–1 by magicJack during the playoff semifinal.[23]

FC Kansas City, 2013–2015[edit]

In 2013, Holiday was one of three national team players along with Becky Sauerbrunn and Nicole Barnhart to be allocated to FC Kansas City for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League as part of the NWSL Player Allocation.[24] In June 2013, she was named NWSL Player of the Month after scoring six times in five games and becoming the league's leading scorer with eight goals.[25] FC Kansas City finished second during the regular season with an 11–6–5 record.[26] The team advanced to the playoffs but were defeated 2–3 by Portland Thorns FC during the semi-finals. Following the 2013 NWSL season, Holiday was awarded the Golden Boot, an award given to the player who scores the most goals (12) and was named the league's Most Valuable Player (MVP).[27]

In 2014 NWSL season, FC Kansas City finished the regular season in second place, with Holiday providing a team-leading 7 assists, and finished second in goals scored with 8 behind Amy Rodriguez's 13. In the post-season playoffs, Holiday scored the second goal in a 2–0 victory over the Portland Thorns FC in the semi final, and provided both the assists for Rodriguez's two goals, as they beat Seattle Reign FC 2–1 in the 2014 Championship game, to clinch the club's first NWSL title. Holiday was voted the match's MVP.[28]

As of 2015, Holiday was the leading goal scorer (20) and assist leader (12) all-time in the NWSL. She retired from the NWSL at the end of the 2015 season.[29] Her number 12 jersey was retired in her honour.


Holiday playing with the United States women's national soccer team in San Jose, California, 2015

Holiday made her first appearance and start for the U.S. women's national soccer team on January 26, 2007, against Germany.[13] She earned her second cap and scored her first goals against Mexico on April 14, 2007.[13] The same year, she was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.[30]

2008 Beijing Olympics[edit]

Holiday was named to the U.S. roster for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after Abby Wambach was forced to withdraw with a broken leg.[31][32] She appeared in three games as a substitute [13] helping the U.S. win gold at the tournament.[33] In 2010, Holiday was the second-leading scorer on the team with seven goals in 13 total matches, starting seven.[13]

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

2011 saw the U.S. team making preparations for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and training starting with the Four Nations Tournament in January. Holiday scored her 12th international goal during the U.S.' 2–1 win over Canada.[34] The U.S. defeated China 2–0 in the final to clinch the tournament title.[35] At the 2011 Algarve Cup in March, she scored a goal against Iceland during the final helping the U.S. win 4–2 and clinch their 8th title at the tournament.[36][37][38]

Holiday started in all six 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup matches, scoring two goals and leading the team with three assists. Her performance earned a spot on the Women's World Cup All-Star Team.[39] Holiday scored the first tournament goal for the U.S. during the team's first group stage against North Korea on June 28 helping the U.S. win 2–0.[40][41] During the team's next group stage match against Colombia, Cheney served the assist to Megan Rapinoe's first World Cup goal who had just subbed into the match. It was the quickest goal for a U.S. substitute in history of the tournament.[42] Despite losing to Sweden 2–1 during the team's third group stage match,[43] the U.S. advanced to the knockout stage where they faced Brazil on July 10.[44] The U.S. won the dramatic match after equalizing the match in the 120th minute and winning 5–3 in the resulting penalty kick shootout.[45] During the semi-final match against France on July 13, Holiday scored the game-opening goal in the ninth minute.[46] In the 79th minute, her cross to Abby Wambach lifted the score to 2–1 and an eventual 3–1 win to advance to the World Cup final against Japan.[47] In front of a sell-out crowd of 48,817, the United States tied Japan 1–1 during regulation time and 2–2 in overtime advancing to a penalty kick shootout where they were defeated.[48][49] Despite experiencing an ankle early in the first half of the match, Holiday continued playing until being subbed off at the start of the second half.[50]

2012 London Olympics[edit]

Holiday led the United States team with seven assists in five games at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia including four assists during the U.S.' 14–0 rout of the Dominican Republic. She played in all six games at the 2012 Summer Olympics, starting five. She came off the bench in the gold medal match to play the final 23 minutes after suffering a minor injury in the semifinal.[13]

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

In 2015, Holiday scored the third goal of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final in the 14th minute of the game helping the U.S. defeat previous World Cup champions Japan 5–2.[51][52]

On July 7, 2015, following the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Holiday announced her retirement from her international career.[53][54]

Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

Key (expand for notes on “international goals” and sorting)
Location Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred
Sorted by country name first, then by city name
Lineup Start – played entire match
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time

off minute (on player) – substituted off at the minute indicated, and player was substituted on at the same time
(c) – captain
Sorted by minutes played

Goal in match Goal of total goals by the player in the match
Sorted by total goals followed by goal number
# NumberOfGoals.goalNumber scored by the player in the match (alternate notation to Goal in match)
Min The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.
Assist/pass The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.
penalty or pk Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)
Score The match score after the goal was scored.
Sorted by goal difference, then by goal scored by the player's team
Result The final score.

Sorted by goal difference in the match, then by goal difference in penalty-shoot-out if it is taken, followed by goal scored by the player's team in the match, then by goal scored in the penalty-shoot-out. For matches with identical final scores, match ending in extra-time without penalty-shoot-out is a tougher match, therefore precede matches that ended in regulation

aet The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation
pso Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time
Light-purple background colorexhibition or closed door international friendly match
Light-yellow background color – match at an invitational tournament
Light-orange background color – Olympic women's football qualification match
Light-blue background color – FIFA women's world cup qualification match
Pink background color – Continental Games or regional tournament
Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament
Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament
NOTE on background colors: Continental Games or regional tournament are sometimes also qualifier for World Cup or Olympics; information depends on the source such as the player's federation.

NOTE: some keys may not apply for a particular football player

Date Location Opponent Lineup No. Min Assist/pass Score Result Competition
1 2007-04-14[m 1] Foxborough  Mexico 83.

on 8' (off Lilly)

1.1 88 Heather O'Reilly

5550.05005 5–0

5550.05005 5–0

2 2008-01-18[m 2] Guangzhou  Finland 45.

on 46' (off Wambach)

1.1 69 Tina DiMartino

5250.03005 3–1

5350.04005 4–1

Four Nations Tournament
3 2008-04-04[m 3] Juarez  Jamaica Start 1.1 21 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5650.06005 6–0

Olympic qualifier: final round
4 2009-05-25[m 4] Toronto  Canada 24.

on 77' (off Rodriguez)

1.1 80 Heather O'Reilly

5450.02005 4–0

5450.02005 4–0

5 2010-02-24[m 5] Santo Antonio  Iceland 25.

off 66' (on Rodriguez)

1.1 61 Lori Lindsey

5250.02005 2–0

5250.02005 2–0

Algarve Cup: Group B
6 2010-03-01[m 6] Ferreiras  Sweden 45.

on 46' (off Rodriguez)

2.1 56 Casey Nogueira

5150.01005 1–0

5250.02005 2–0

Algarve Cup: Group B
7 2.2 86 Lori Lindsey

5250.02005 2–0

8 2010-03-03[m 7] Faro  Germany 84.

off 84' (on Nogueira)

1.1 69 unassisted

5250.03005 3–1

5150.03005 3–2

Algarve Cup: final
9 2010-03-28[m 8] San Diego  Mexico 45.

on 46' (off Rodriguez)

1.1 72 Shannon Boxx

5350.03005 3–0

5350.03005 3–0

10 2010-11-01[m 9] Cancun  Costa Rica Start 1.1 68 unassisted

5250.02005 2–0

5450.04005 4–0

World Cup qualifier: Group B
11 2010-11-08[m 10] Cancun  Costa Rica Start 1.1 17 Lori Lindsey

5150.01005 1–0

5350.03005 3–0

World Cup qualifier: third-place match
12 2011-01-23[m 11] Chongqing  Canada 45.

on 46' (off Rodriguez)

1.1 54 Lindsay Tarpley

5150.02005 1–0

5150.02005 2–1

Four Nations Tournament
13 2011-03-09[m 12] Faro  Iceland 45.

off 46' (on Wambach)

1.1 45+1 Megan Rapinoe

5050.02005 2–2

5250.04005 4–2

Algarve Cup: final
14 2011-06-05[m 13] Harrison  Mexico 30.

on 61' (off Rodriguez)

1.1 90+2 Abby Wambach

5150.01005 1–0

5150.01005 1–0

15 2011-06-28[m 14] Dresden  Korea DPR Start 1.1 54 Abby Wambach

5150.01005 1–0

5250.02005 2–0

World Cup: Group C
16 2011-07-13[m 15] Mönchengladbach  France Start 1.1 9 Heather O'Reilly

5150.01005 1–0

5250.03005 3–1

World Cup: semifinal
17 2012-01-20[m 16] Vancouver  Dominican Start 1.1 64 Heather O'Reilly

6150.11005 11–0

6450.14005 14–0

Olympic qualifier: Group B
18 2012-01-22[m 17] Vancouver  Guatemala 45.

off 46' (on Morgan)

1.1 24 unassisted

5350.03005 3–0

6350.13005 13–0

Olympic qualifier: Group B
19 2013-06-15[m 18] Foxborough  Korea Republic 77.

off 77' (on Brian)

1.1 7 Tobin Heath

5250.02005 2–0

5350.04005 4–1

20 2013-06-20[m 19] Harrison  Korea Republic 71.

off 71' (on Averbuch)

1.1 64 Kelley O'Hara

5550.05005 5–0

5550.05005 5–0

21 2013-10-20[m 20] San Antonio  Australia 64.

on 64' (off Brian)

1.1 6 unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5450.04005 4–0

22 2014-02-13[m 21] Atlanta  Russia 23.

on 68' (off Brian)

1.1 81 penalty

5650.06005 6–0

5850.08005 8–0

23 2014-04-06[m 22] Commerce  China PR 67.

off 67' (on Rapinoe)

1.1 39 unassisted

5150.01005 1–0

5250.02005 2–0

24 2015-07-05[m 23] Vancouver  Japan Start 1.1 14 unassisted

5350.03005 3–0

5350.05005 5–2

World Cup: final

Honors and awards[edit]




with FC Kansas City

Personal life[edit]

At the age of three, Holiday had open heart surgery to correct a heart defect.[68] She married professional basketball player Jrue Holiday, fellow former UCLA Bruin and NBA shooting guard, on July 7, 2013.[69] The two first met and began dating in 2008 while they were both attending UCLA.

Holiday is a Christian.[70]

On September 4, 2016, it was announced that Holiday had previously been diagnosed with a brain tumor during her pregnancy. Her husband chose to take a leave of absence to care for her. The tumor, which was benign, was found on the right side of her brain in late June 2016.[71][72] Holiday gave birth to Jrue Tyler Holiday, a baby girl in September 2016, and the tumor was successfully removed in October.[73] She gave birth to a son, Hendrix, in 2020. [74]

Holiday has signed endorsement deals with Under Armour and Chobani.[75][76]

In popular culture[edit]

Video games[edit]

Holiday was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game.[77]

Ticker tape parade and White House honor[edit]

Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Holiday and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City.[78] Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio.[79] In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.[80]

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ Purdy, Jacqueline (July 15, 2011). "Lauren Cheney is Made to Play Midfield". ESPN. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  4. ^ Bonham, Chad (July 3, 2012). "A conversation with U.S. Olympian Lauren Cheney". Beliefnet. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
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  78. ^ "U.S. women celebrate World Cup with ticker-tape parade in New York City". USA Today. July 11, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  79. ^ "Team USA parades NYC's "Canyon of Heroes"". CBS News. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  80. ^ Wagner, Laura (October 27, 2015). "Obama To U.S. Women's Soccer Team: 'Playing Like A Girl Means You're A Badass'". NPR. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
Match reports
  1. ^ "U.S. Women Roll Past Mexico, 5–0, Behind Two Goals from Kristine Lilly". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Lindsay Tarpley Scores Twice and U.S. Women Defeat Finland 4–1; USA Takes on China on Sunday, Jan. 20 For Four Nations Title". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
  3. ^ "U.S. Women Defeat Jamaica, 6–0, to Open Olympic Qualifying; Wambach Scores Twice at USA is Through to Semifinals". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "U.S. Women Score Twice In Each Half to Defeat Canada 4–0 at BMO Field in Toronto". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "Hope Solo Saves Two Penalties as the USA Defeats Iceland 2–0 to Open 2010 Algarve Cup". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on July 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "Lauren Cheney Scores Twice As U.S. Women Defeat Sweden 2–0 To Advance to Eighth Consecutive Algarve Cup Championship Game". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Lloyd, Wambach and Cheney Score As U.S. Women Win 2010 Algarve Cup With 3–2 Victory Against Germany". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "USA Defeats Mexico 3–0 in First Domestic Match of 2010". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Beats Costa Rica 4–0 to Top Group B at CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying in Cancun, Mexico". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "U.S. Women Defeat Costa Rica 3–0 to Earn Spot in Two-Game Playoff Against Italy for Berth to Germany 2011". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "U.S. Women Rebound to Defeat Canada 2–1 at Four Nations Tournament in China". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "U.S. WNT Defeats Iceland For 2011 Algarve Cup Title". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011.
  13. ^ "Stoppage-Time Strike from Cheney Lifts U.S Women to Win Against Mexico". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "U.S. Opens 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup with 2–0 Victory Against Korea DPR". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012.
  15. ^ "U.S. WNT Advances to Final of 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Opens 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying With Record Performance in 14–0 Rout of Dominican Republic". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012.
  17. ^ "U.S. Women's National Team Qualifies for Semifinals of 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying with 13–0 Victory Against Guatemala". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  18. ^ "U.S. WNT Defeats Korea Republic 4–1 in Foxborough, Mass". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014.
  19. ^ "Abby Wambach Becomse All-Time Leading Scorer with Four Goals in 5–0 Win vs. Korea Republic". U.S.Soccer. Archived from the original on August 18, 2013.
  20. ^ "U.S. WNT Rolls Past Australia 4–0 in Front of 19,109 at Alamodome in San Antonio". U.S. Soccer Federation. October 20, 2013. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  21. ^ "U.S. WNT Routs Russia 8–0 in Second Leg in Front of 16,133 Fans at Georgia Dome". U.S. Soccer Federation. February 13, 2014. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  22. ^ "2–0 Victory in Colorado: U.S. WNT vs.China PR". U.S. Soccer Federation. April 6, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  23. ^ "U.S.WNT 5–2 Japan; wins World Cup". U.S.Soccer.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Lisi, Clemente A. (2010), The U.S. Women's Soccer Team: An American Success Story, Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0810874164
  • Nash, Tim (2016), It's Not the Glory: The Remarkable First Thirty Years of U S Women's Soccer, Lulu Press Inc, ISBN 1483451526
  • Stevens, Dakota (2011), A Look at the Women's Professional Soccer Including the Soccer Associations, Teams, Players, Awards, and More, BiblioBazaar, ISBN 1241047464

External links[edit]