After 11 years playing in the top division in the United States and representing it at just about every level, Eddie Gaven announced today that he is moving on from professional soccer.
Here is Eddie Gaven's statement via thecrew.com:
"I would like to thank my teammates, the Crew organization and the fans for all their support over the years," said Gaven. "I will always cherish the memories, especially winning MLS Cup in 2008. I am incredibly blessed to have been a professional soccer player and am extremely grateful to MLS and the Crew for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream. For personal reasons, I will be retiring from professional soccer. I realize this may come as a surprise, but it is something I have been contemplating for some time, and after discussing it thoroughly with my family, I know in my heart that now is the right time to start the next chapter in my life. I wish the Crew nothing but the best moving forward. Thank you."
Gaven will likely be in Major League Soccer record books in a number of categories for some time do to a lot of accomplishments at a very young age.
Among them, at the age of 16, being one of the youngest ever to score in a MLS match just barely a month after becoming one of the youngest to ever put on a MLS jersey.
Here in Columbus, Gaven will be remembered for being an ever present name on the game day XI lineup card as he regularly lead the team in minutes played and appearances made.
Eddie's retirement is a surprise and doesn't come without questions. Even though he suffered a season ending knee injury earlier this year in the third round of the US Open Cup he seemed poised for another handful of successful years in professional soccer. In many ways his 2012 season was one of his best and before the injury this year he had assisted four times in the first twelve games of the 2013 season.
Thank You Eddie Gaven
On more than one account Eddie Gaven was a well liked player by peers and fans alike but even more than that he seemed to be a well rounded and grounded individual that transcended the league and team he was playing for. An incredibly rare thing in modern professional sport that many here in Ohio that follow soccer appreciated.
Stay tuned to Massive Report for more on how this surprising announcement shapes the Columbus Crew moving forward.