[MLS SPOTLIGHT]Clyde Simms, who spent the last two of his nine MLS seasons in New England, has retired, revealing he has suffered from a kidney disease that has reduced its function down to 20 percent.
“I’ve never really talked about this because I always chose the mind over matter approach, but my health has gotten to a point where I can no longer do that,” Simms said in a statement released by the Revs. “When I was a freshman in high school, we discovered that I suffered from Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), the same kidney disease as Alonzo Mourning. When I started playing with D.C., my kidney function was around 50 percent, and the last three years of my career, it has gotten down to about 20 percent.
"I fell in love with this sport at a young age and was determined not to let anything stop me. Unfortunately, for the past 10 years I have been dealing with kidney disease and it has become too tough for me to compete at this level anymore. I made sure for as long as I could I would still fight for my dream, my passion. I was very lucky to have had such a great run, but now it’s time to fight another battle. Thank you to all the fans, teammates, and coaches that supported me and helped me along my journey. To the Richmond Kickers, D.C. United and the New England Revolution, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your families. I will always be a fan. And to my family and people closest to me, thank you for allowing me to follow my dream."
Simms, 31, spent seven seasons as a defensive anchor in the D.C. United midfield, where he made 182 regular-season appearances, including 147 starts. His 182 appearances still ranks fifth in the United career records, while his 147 starts ranks sixth. He helped it win back-to-back Supporters’ Shields as the league’s best regular-season club in 2006 and 2007, and also the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Later in his United career, he battled two sports hernia injuries whose treatment was complicated because of his kidney disease.
Simms made 39 appearances -- and 38 starts -- in two seasons with the Revs, serving as the club’s captain for much of the 2012 season and the early part of the 2013 season.
He played at East Carolina University -- which no longer offers men's soccer -- and with the Richmond Kickers of the then USL First Division in 2004 before signing with D.C. United in 2005. He earned one cap in 2005 against England in Chicago.
Simms is currently in the process of launching an indoor cycling studio in Dedham, Mass., which he expects to open in the spring of 2014.