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Brian Carroll announces retirement

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Brian Carroll is hanging up his cleats.

The 36-year-old Philadelphia Union midfielder and former captain announced his retirement Thursday in a statement released by the Union.

“As I look back on 15 years in MLS, it’s been a fun ride: I’ve had a lot of great teammates and great coaches, and I had the privilege to represent a number of great cities and clubs,” Carroll said in the statement.

“I’m especially thankful to Philadelphia,” Carroll added, “as this has become a second home for our family.”

Carroll steps away from the game tied with Seattle’s Chad Marshall for fourth all-time in MLS appearances, behind only Kyle Beckerman, Brad Davis, and Steve Ralston. He ranks sixth all-time in minutes played with 30,778. For the Union, he is the team’s all-time leader in minutes played (13,818) and matches started (156). He has never been ejected from a game in his professional career.

Carroll won two MLS Cups, one each with his two prior teams, D.C. United and Columbus Crew, and he won consecutive four Supporters Shields with the two teams from 2006 through 2009, a feat unmatched in MLS history. He also earned eight caps for the U.S. National Team.

Unfortunately, Carroll’s final season has been marred by injury, and he has not appeared in a regular season game for the Union this year. Prior to this season, he had started at least 17 games per season every year since 2004. He has started two games this year for the Union’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC.

“Brian Carroll is the definition of what it means to be a professional,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “From D.C. to Columbus as well as from the Union to the U.S. National Team, his trophies and caps only tell a part of the story. He served as a mentor to players young and old, and he always played the game the right way. It was a privilege to have played against him as well as to have coached him throughout the years.”

Carroll indicated that he plans to work as a financial planner after retirement and will be relocating to Indianapolis to do so.


  1. PLAY HIM, Jim.
    A supporter in dire need of something to enjoy Sunday.

  2. If he is going to work as a financial planner I assume he has saved his money so there won’t be a huge drop off once he retires


    • Keegan is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. His play has been nothing short of abysmal this year when he’s been on the field. Hopefully he’ll be able to put it behind him, learn from it, and start fresh next year.

      • Mike, while his play hasn’t been what it was last year……let’s look into that a little and ask ourselves, What makes one of the Union’s best players a year ago and one of the best youngins in the league, totally bomb out this year? We are not in the locker room, we are not at training everyday….that’s a given. We can only watch and take little tidbits out of the press….and depending upon your level of nuance….come to your own conclusions. Here’s mine…….I think it’s pretty crappy what happened with Keegan this year. He was obviously told by Gooch and other immobile CB’s to keep it tight with them and not to go bombing up the flank. The thing that makes him one of the most dangerous flank backs in the league. You have two flank backs in Fabs and Keegan who like to go forward…..wouldn’t you think you would have modern CBs capable of dealing with this? Since it was one of our club’s strongest assets? Again, maybe he didn’t handle the adversity well in training……I don’t know, I’m not there. But to me, I think Jim did unreparable damage to Keegan this year at an age where he needed matches under his belt. Again, he hardly suited up for the Steel to get those minutes either. It goes against their whole development model to do what they did to Keegan. He needed more challenges after last season, not less. I think of Spurs with Gareth Bale and Arsenal with Ox. These guys started as flank backs too, but gaffers saw how well they bombed forward…..and put them a level higher up the pitch. None of that was done here……Jim acted like a college coach who wanted him in the doghouse……..believe me, I know that one!

      • I thought his play dropped off at the end of the previous season – likely as a result of the league catching up with him. His play was poor to average in the limited action this year. Hopefully he can get it together in the off season

      • Based on Union’s track record, only question is do we get GAM or TAM when they trade him this offseason.

      • Spot on, Alicat215.

      • The league didn’t catch up with him…..he literally played almost every minute of every match……the kid physically hit a wall. That’s on the coaches and fitness staff………

  4. The Chopper says:

    Brian Carroll was, is and will always be a class act. He has not always been treated kindly by the Union fanbase who for awhile seemed to treat him as the symbol for everything that was wrong with the on the field product. I am thankful that his last stint as a regular in the lineup won the fans back as his gritty play helped stabilize a team that desperately needed it. All he ever did was give Philly (and everywhere else he played) everything he had.

    He deserves a good sendoff.

  5. A class act and a very underrated player. It’s only when you saw Brian play in person that you could fully appreciate how good he was and how many positive things that he did. Glad to hear that Curtin will put him in the 18 and will also get him out on the pitch one final time as a professional on Sun.

  6. I might now actually go to the game on Sunday.

  7. Captain Carrrrolllll!

    Thanks BC!

  8. BC Legend. Whenever the Union lose BIMBO I’ll get his name on a shirt, no doubt.

    • There is a lot of pent up demand for non-Bimbo gear. I have daughters and granddaughters that will not be wearing anything with that name on it, now or ever.

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