One of the strongest, most rugged forwards ever produced by American soccer has decided to end his long career.
Conor Casey, whose long career included a decade in MLS following six years in Germany, announced his retirement Thursday. A member of Colorado’s 2010 championship team, Casey also played for Toronto FC, Philadelphia, and Columbus. Injuries limited him to just four games in a Crew SC uniform last season.
“I feel very fortunate today. I've been able to make a life from doing what I love,” Casey said in a statement released by Crew SC. “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, 35, grew up in Denver, where his mother, city councilwoman, Susan Casey, coined the phrase "soccer mom," and he played collegiately at Portland. A solid showing for the USA at the 2000 Olympic Games yielded a contract with Borussia Dortmund, which loaned him to Hannover and Karlsruhe before he moved to Mainz, where he played for current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. After being released by Mainz, he signed in 2007 with Toronto FC, for which he played two games before TFC traded him to Colorado.
In six seasons and 119 MLS games with Colorado he scored 50 goals, including a career-best 16 in 2009 and 13 the following year as the Rapids won their only MLS Cup title. He opted for the Re-Entry Draft after the 2012 season and signed with Philadelphia, for which he tallied 21 goals in three seasons. After the 2015 season the Union released him and he signed with Crew SC but a calf injury and other ailments allowed him to play only 35 minutes this year.
"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," said Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter.
In 19 appearances for the U.S. he scored just two goals, but both them came in the same game as the U.S. recorded an historic 3-2 defeat of Honduras in San Pedro Sula that clinched a spot in the 2010 World Cup. He retires ranked 23rd among all-time MLS scorers with 71 goals.
“Thank you to my family for giving me every opportunity to follow my dreams, to my friends for their support, to my wife and baby for their love, to my teammates for inspiration and to the fans for that feeling that can't be matched," he said. "‘Til next time.”