Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Will Armas stay or go?
by Ridge Mahoney, October 9th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones isn't the only MLS original reconsidering his announcement to retire. Chris Armas, a former teammate of Jones in Los Angeles, has played the last 10 seasons with Chicago and might try to squeeze out one more. Maybe.

"The motivation level is still there," says Armas, who has been hobbled this season by a hip problem that has limited him to 23 games. "The motivation to win and to compete has gotten stronger as my career has gone on. It hasn't faded. You think, 'Isn't that supposed to go away?'"

Armas announced in April that this would be his last season, but that came before the arrival of Cuauhtemoc Blanco, the hiring of Juan Carlos Osorio as head coach, and the purchase of the team by Andell Holdings, Inc. from Anschutz Entertainment Group.

He's reveling in the atmosphere created by large, excited crowds at Toyota Park and a late-season push for the playoffs. Chicago is unbeaten in its last six games and holds a four-point cushion over Colorado for the eighth and final postseason slot.

There are good, solid reasons to hang it up. He's 35, has played 262 regular season games, and has come back from two ACL surgeries - one of which knocked him off the 2002 World Cup team - and a sprained knee ligament that scuttled his dreams of playing in the 2000 Olympic Games. He and his wife Justine have two young sons, Christopher Jr. and Aleksei.

He won an MLS Cup in his first year with the Fire, that magical expansion season of 1998, and came up short in the 2000 and 2003 title games. Two months ago, a chance at another final seemed remote; now at least it's a possibility.

Yet the temptation of trophies won't lure him back. His zeal for the game hasn't wavered. His decision to retire, he insists, is strictly a function of physical health. He knows retirement is inevitable, he just hates the very idea of walking away while he can still walk.

"I don't like the thought of it, at all," he says of the dreaded R-word. "I almost wish I didn't love the game and everything about it so much, but I do. I was at the [USA-Brazil] game [Sept. 9 at Soldier Field] and on the day you're a fan. I'm rooting for the team and there are so many close ties to the team, still, and at the same time I wish I could be out there. Then you wouldn't feel so bad about walking away.

"I want to be able to play and contribute every day in practice and every day in the games, not just half you-know-what. This is what I've known for the past 12, 14 years, whatever it is, two years with the [Long Island] Rough Riders and then MLS. It's hard enough to walk away."

The decision won't be his alone. Fire management and Osorio will have a say. Justine and the boys will weigh in. So will his body.

"I know it sounds crazy but I even love the preseason and everything that goes with it," says Armas, who is one of the few players who can utter those words and really mean it. "I love the concept of the team and honestly, I love the preseason.

"I'll get my hip looked at after the season and if I can do it one more time and get back, believe me I'll do it."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Johansson returns in crushing Bremen defeat    
Aron Johannsson returned to action in the Bundesliga for the first time in 11 months, starting ...
USA names roster for U-17 Women's World Cup    
Coach B.J. Snow has named the USA's 21-player roster for the 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup ...
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone’s livelihood. It’s about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
On Sept. 18, Fox Sports will air two live MLS matches -- Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy ...
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives