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Chad Barrett announces retirement after 13+ seasons in MLS

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Striker Chad Barrett officially announced his retirement today after a long stint with complicated injuries.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

MLS veteran Chad Barrett announced his official retirement from professional soccer today. Though the 33-year-old only played three games with Real Salt Lake before he went down with a season-ending injury last year, he remained on the roster for the rest of 2017.

RSL declined Barrett’s option after the 2017 season and he hasn’t officially been on a team roster since, but he has been a part of the RSL family all the while, notably joining forces off the pitch with David Horst on their podcast The Horse, the Bear & the Lion.

An excerpt of his announcement today explains the reasoning behind his decision.

Dear Family, Friends, and Fans, I have discovered that the hardest thing in professional sports is to stop. Be it a game, season, or career, it is a time full of large and small rollercoasters of the highest highs and lowest lows. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Leaving the game for good is my Pacific Rim. After 13 seasons with 7 teams, I am announcing my retirement for professional soccer. My recovery road has been long and arduous. I’ve always given my 100%, and would never let myself give less. Returning to the game would show my inability to do so. So with a heavy heart I have decided to save my legs for my future endeavors and hang up the cleats.

Barrett spent just over 13 years in MLS playing for seven different teams, and he last saw the pitch on March 18, 2017 when he was subbed on in RSL’s loss to the LA Galaxy at home. With his season-ending knee injury keeping him on the sidelines for the rest of 2017, he was never quite able to make a full recovery to get back on the field this year without risking further hurting himself, so he decided to finally hang up his boots.

He only played 65 minutes for RSL in three games, managing three shots in total and one shot on goal. Barrett ends his MLS career with 58 goals and 31 assists through 278 games played since 2005. He started in 165 of those games. He spent the most time in the beginning of his career with the Chicago Fire, from 2005 through 2008. From there, he bounced to Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, and the Seattle Sounders before he ended up at Real Salt Lake in 2017.

He made the announcement today on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Dear Family, Friends, and Fans, I have discovered that the hardest thing in professional sports is to stop. Be it a game, season, or career, it is a time full of large and small rollercoasters of the highest highs and lowest lows. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Leaving the game for good is my Pacific Rim. After 13 seasons with 7 teams, I am announcing my retirement for professional soccer. My recovery road has been long and arduous. I’ve always given my 100%, and would never let myself give less. Returning to the game would show my inability to do so. So with a heavy heart I have decided to save my legs for my future endeavors and hang up the cleats. I would like to thank everyone that helped me attain a dream I had since seeing my first professional game at Vicarage Road at the age of 9. The inaudible sound of my own screams drowned out by the surrounding thunder created by the cheers of 20,000 faithful when Watford scored solidified my position...striker. I dreamt of creating that moment! I was able to achieve this and replicate it many times over thanks to my family, my teammates, and my coaches throughout my youth and professional life. Thanks to the unsung heroes of everyday professional life, the trainers, equipment managers, massage therapists, doctors, and strength trainers....THANK YOU! Thank you to the fans! The lovers and the haters. Both filled me with different kinds of motivation every day I got to be a pro. @chicagofire , @torontofc , @lagalaxy , @nerevolution , @soundersfc , @sjearthquakes , and @realsaltlake , thank you for allowing me to entertain in your cities and organizations. And to their fans especially...Thank you for accepting me and helping me create so many great memories - times I’ll never forget celebrating with you. This journeyman’s destination has been reached, but this adventure has been the time of my life...it’s been a dream and honor to share it with you all. And lastly, thank you most of all to my Mom, aka ‘Mama Barrett’. My number 1 fan who never missed a game and always encouraged me to follow my dreams! Couldn't have done it without you. Thanks for the memories, - Chad Barrett #19

A post shared by Chad Barrett (@chbarrett19) on