Twenty-four-year-old forward/defender Courtney Jones has decided to join Jazmine Reeves in the business world. Jones, 24, announced her retirement from the beautiful game on Thursday, expressing a desire to start her own business after two seasons of NWSL play.
"I can't thank the NWSL and the Boston Breakers organization enough for giving me an opportunity to play the game I love," Jones said. "The Breakers have been an amazing group of people to work for and work with. I made lifelong friends and met incredible people while in Boston, and I will never forget the memories I made as a Breaker."
In 2012, Jones debuted for the WPSL Breakers, her first professional club following a memorable career at the University of North Carolina. In 12 starts (14 appearances), Jones contributed a team-high six assists while adding two goals. The pacey winger returned to the Breakers in 2013 following a trade with FC Kansas City; she immediately contributed from multiple spots on the field, featuring as a center back, wing back, midfielder and forward. By season's end, Jones had registered career highs in minutes played (1,296), appearances (18) and starts (13), all while recording three goals and one assist.
"We will definitely miss Courtney, and her family, here in Boston," Breakers GM Lee Billiard said. "I cannot speak highly enough of Courtney as a professional athlete and role model for younger players in this sport. She is a real class act, and I am sure we will see her at some point on the sidelines cheering on the team this season."
Jones' retirement follows the surprise departure of Jazmine Reeves who, after a breakout freshman campaign, retired from professional soccer to join e-commerce giant Amazon. Though neither Reeves nor Jones alluded to finances playing a role in the decision to retire, the pair saw something in the business world that seemed particularly attractive. According to a 2014 report by Forbes.com, professionals in the business field earn an average starting salary of $57,229; NWSL salaries range from $6,000 to $30,000, according to our friends at Stumptown Footy. This surprisingly low salary range has led many players, particularly those who do not compete at the national level, to pursue off-season jobs--a necessary decision, even for the league's elite.
Torn between professional stability and the joy of playing soccer, Jones and Reeves chose the former, leaving their club for life after the beautiful game.