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Chris Wingert officially retires from professional soccer

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The RSL veteran is saying his goodbyes to the pro game on Instagram.

Real Salt Lake v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

In a move that isn’t particularly surprising (for reasons we’ll delve into below), Chris Wingert, Real Salt Lake and MLS veteran, is retiring professional soccer.

Wingert, 35, played 10 seasons with Real Salt Lake; his most recent spell came from 2016 to 2017, when he was picked up from New York City FC.

The move is perhaps not totally surprising, given the content of Wingert’s Instagram posts — he’s been doing things that you’re simply prohibited from as a professional, like snowboarding. Maybe that’s the only thing.

Below is the text of Wingert’s retirement message, as well as the Instagram post with which he announced it.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not to announce my retirement from professional soccer. Part of me felt like it was selfish to make a statement. After some more thought though, I realized that there are people who care, who are wondering what I'm up to. Of course not millions of fans like the superstar legends of the game. But people who have followed my career and supported me in numerous different ways. I felt like those people deserved to know what was going on. So here it is. After 14 years of Major League Soccer, it is time to move on. Bitter sweet, as you can imagine. On one hand, I am extremely sad to walk away from the game that has seemed to define me (at least at times) up until this point. I literally dont know a life without soccer. On the other hand, I am beyond excited for what's to come! Moving home, spending more time with my family and friends in NY, and helping the next generation of players with their careers. I believe God has bigger and better things for me ahead, and I cant wait to see what exactly that entails. (Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 3:12-14) There are too many thank you's to write them all in this post. But I'd like to thank the four organizations that I had the pleasure of playing for, and THEIR FANS! In the next few months I will do my best to reach out to all my teammates, coaches and support staff, who have had such a profound and lasting impact on my life/career. I absolutely loved working with you each and every day. Before I end this ridiculously long post, I want to thank my parents. My mom for instilling in me the discipline it takes to be a professional in every sense of the word. To my dad, for putting in the countless hours that nobody else knows about, and teaching me that anything is possible if you go for it with everything you have. I feel so blessed to be your son. Of all the gifts that soccer has given me, it is the relationships that I cherish the most. Fortunately I can take those with me as I walk away from the game. With that in mind, I hope to see you all soon. Yours in the beautiful game, Chris Wingert

A post shared by Chris Wingert (@wingert17) on

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to announce my retirement from professional soccer. Part of me felt like it was selfish to make a statement. After some more thought though, I realized that there are people who care, who are wondering what I’m up to. Of course not millions of fans like the superstar legends of the game. But people who have followed my career and supported me in numerous different ways. I felt like those people deserved to know what was going on.

So here it is. After 14 years of Major League Soccer, it is time to move on. Bitter sweet, as you can imagine. On one hand, I am extremely sad to walk away from the game that has seemed to define me (at least at times) up until this point. I literally don’t know a life without soccer.

On the other hand, I am beyond excited for what’s to come! Moving home, spending more time with my family and friends in NY, and helping the next generation of players with their careers. I believe God has bigger and better things for me ahead, and I cant wait to see what exactly that entails. (Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 3:12-14)

There are too many thank you’s to write them all in this post. But I’d like to thank the four organizations that I had the pleasure of playing for, and THEIR FANS!

In the next few months I will do my best to reach out to all my teammates, coaches and support staff, who have had such a profound and lasting impact on my life/career. I absolutely loved working with you each and every day.

Before I end this ridiculously long post, I want to thank my parents. My mom for instilling in me the discipline it takes to be a professional in every sense of the word.

To my dad, for putting in the countless hours that nobody else knows about, and teaching me that anything is possible if you go for it with everything you have. I feel so blessed to be your son.

Of all the gifts that soccer has given me, it is the relationships that I cherish the most. Fortunately I can take those with me as I walk away from the game. With that in mind, I hope to see you all soon.

Yours in the beautiful game,

Chris Wingert