When Conor Casey walked off the pitch following Columbus Crew SC’s 4-1 loss to New York City FC Sunday, he did so for the last time.
The 10-year MLS veteran announced his retirement Thursday. He finished his career with 195 MLS regular-season appearances, though only four of those came for the Black & Gold
Despite an injury plagued season, Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter expressed admiration for veteran.
"I have had the pleasure of getting to know Conor and throughout our time together, Conor was a consummate professional, a prolific goal scorer and had a tremendous work ethic that I admired,” Berhalter said in a statement released from the club. “Here with Crew SC, Conor battled through several injuries this season and yet he kept a positive attitude throughout his time in Columbus and so I was happy to see him make one final appearance to round-out his career. We wish him nothing but the best in the next chapter of his life.”
“I feel very fortunate today. I've been able to make a life from doing what I love,” said Casey said in the statement. “This beautiful game has brought me all over the world, shown me places and people I would have never seen. From empty training fields to packed stadiums with screaming fans, it has given me back everything I've poured into many times over.’
Casey’s career began professionally in Germany, where the 6-foot-1 forward signed with Borussia Dortmund. He found his way back to North America and Major League Soccer in 2007 when he joined Toronto FC, appearing in only two matches before being traded to Colorado.
Casey flourished with the Rapids, scoring 48 of his career 71 goals. He scored the game-tying goal in the 2010 MLS Cup and was named MVP following the match.
He’s a two-time All-Star and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2009.
Casey joins Tyson Wahl as departures from Columbus this season. Wahl announced his retirement on Sept. 27.