[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Cory Gibbs, who signed with German club St. Pauli straight out of college at Brown University and went on to earn 19 caps for the United States, announced his retirement after a 12-year professional career that saw him play in four European clubs and four MLS clubs. He was named the Chicago Fire’s 2011 Defender of the Year, but injuries, which had been a problem throughout his career, sidelined him for most of the 2012 season.
The Fire selected Gibbs in Stage 2 of the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Draft. In 2011, Gibbs made 26 appearances and scored three goals.
He started the first three matches of the 2012 season at center back before suffering a right meniscus injury in training April 4. He underwent surgery six days later and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
“It was a tough decision,” said Gibbs. “After discussing it with the medical staff, my wife and family, it is the right time for me to step away from the playing field. I’ve done everything in my power to return to the game, however, my latest injury has made it too difficult to play again. It was an honor to represent the United States and the Fire, along with all of the clubs I played with throughout my career. I would also like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, the fans and my family, especially my wife, for all of their support along this journey. I am truly excited to transition into a new venture in my career. Coaching, working for a club and scouting are my greatest desires. I will be as committed off the pitch as when I was playing.”
After three seasons with St. Pauli, Gibbs returned to the United States, where he played one season for the then-Dallas Burn.
He moved to the Netherlands, where he played for Feyenoord and ADO. In May 2006, Gibbs signed with he English Premier League's Charlton Athletic. A knee injury suffered on the eve of the 2006 World Cup cost him a trip to Germany with the U.S. national team and he never played for Charlton's first team.
He returned to MLS in 2008 and played for the Colorado Rapids, where he was their 2008 Defender of the Year, and the New England Revolution, where he served as captain in eight matches.