William Hesmer officially retired today according to a story by Clemente Lisi on the US Soccer Players website. Hesmer played 140 games in MLS over the course of his nine year career with Kansas City and the Columbus Crew.
Hesmer played college soccer at Wake Forest before being picked up by Kansas City in 2004. He failed to make an appearance until his third year when he started three games.
Hesmer was then picked up by Toronto FC in the 2006 Expansion Draft, but was immediately traded with Danny O'Rourke to the Crew. After recovering from a leg injury he started 20 games and cemented himself as the team's starting 'keeper.
He backstopped the 2008 MLS Cup winning side, playing 29 games, racking up 17 wins and 10 shutouts. He played all four games in the playoffs, including the Cup 3-1 win against New York on his 27th birthday.
Hesmer would remain the team's starter through the 2011 season. He'd continue to play well; including notching a game tiying goal against Toronto in 2010. He became only the second goalkeeper to score in league play. His hold on the starting position ended when a hip injury forced him into season ending surgery last March. He played his last game against Colorado in the playoffs on October 27th, 2011.
Hesmer would go on to play regular season 130 games for the team locking up several records in the process. He is the team's career leader in wins with 59, shutouts with 41, saves with 412, and is tied with the best winning percentage with %58.
Hesmer was never the most imposing physical specimen. He didn't have the sharp, instinctive reflexes that Andy Gruenebaum has. He worked tirelessly on the mental side of goalkeeping, always being in the right place and playing the angles perfectly. He was also the soft spoken leader in the locker room.
After being let go from the Crew in December and failing to come to terms with Los Angeles after being picked up in the reentry draft, Hesmer quickly has moved on. He got married in December and has already moved to North Carolina and is pursuing his second career with Raymond James.