LA Galaxy Midfielder Chris Klein to Retire Following 2010 MLS Season

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Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein
announced today his decision to retire following the completion of the 2010 MLS
season. One of the Galaxy’s longest tenured players having joined the club in
June 2007, Klein ranks fifth in MLS history with 332 career regular season games
played, having scored 49 goals and added 69 assists with three different clubs.
Klein will play the final regular season game of his career on Sunday when the
Galaxy host FC Dallas in their regular season finale at The Home Depot Center.
He will remain with the club through the postseason, where he will look to help
the Galaxy win their first MLS Cup championship since
2005.

WATCH: Klein's 300th game

“The decision to step away from the
game after 13 years is a difficult one, but one that I am ready for,” Klein
said. “I have had an amazing journey in MLS. I’ve had the ability to play with
hundreds of teammates and for some of the best coaches that this league has ever
produced, and I was able to forge relationships with them that extend beyond the
soccer field. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to play in front of
some incredible fans in Kansas City, Salt Lake and now here with the Galaxy; and
those are the people that I will really miss.”

A native of St.
Louis, Mo., Klein began his 13-year
MLS career when he was selected by the Kansas City Wizards with the fourth pick
of the 1998 MLS College Draft following a standout college career at Indiana. The 34-year-old
midfielder helped the Wizards win their first MLS Cup Championship in 2000,
assisting on Miklos Molnar’s game-winning goal as the Wizards defeated
Chicago 1-0. One
of the club’s all-time leaders in games played, goals and assists, Klein was a
four-time All-Star during his time with the Wizards while also helping them win
the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

He was traded to Real Salt Lake
prior to the start of the 2006 season and spent a year and a half with the club,
scoring eight times and adding nine assists in 43 games before being traded to
the Galaxy. Used at both right back and on the right side of midfield for the
Galaxy, Klein quickly became a fan favorite upon arriving in LA, cementing his
position in Galaxy lore when he scored one of the most famous goals in club
history, a bicycle kick in the final seconds of regulation in the Final of the
inaugural SuperLiga that tied the score at 1-1 and sent the match to
extratime.

“On behalf of the LA Galaxy, I want
to thank Chris Klein for his
contributions to the club and all of the work that he has done to help grow the
sport of soccer here in the United States,” Galaxy general manager and head
coach Bruce Arena said. “Chris has
established an outstanding legacy in MLS as an All-Star performer, an MLS Cup
champion and a key figure in a historical collective bargaining agreement.
Through these endeavors, Chris has always exhibited the character and
professionalism that he has become synonymous with and we wish him the very best
as he moves forward to the next step of his
career.”

One of the most consistent players
in the history of MLS, Klein owns the league record for most consecutive games
played at 141 and consecutive games started at 118. From June 11, 2005 until
April 11, 2009, Klein started every regular season game in which his teams
played. On April 18, 2009, he came off the bench in the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw at
San Jose, ending
his consecutive games started streak, but continuing his consecutive games
played streak. That run ended at 141 games on September 26, 2009 when he was an
unused substitute in a 2-0 loss at Columbus.

A two-time MLS Comeback Player of
the Year, winning the award in 2002 and 2005 after coming back from a torn ACL
that he suffered in each of the previous seasons, Klein was capped 22 times by
the U.S. National Team after making his international debut in a 2-0 win over
Mexico on October 25, 2000. He had
five goals and three assists in his international career, including a goal and
two assists in a 4-0 win over Guatemala at Pizza Hut
Park in February
2006.

“The most important thing to me
throughout this journey has been the support of my family. My wife Angela, and
our two kids Carson and Cami, I’ve taken them from Kansas City to Salt Lake City
and now Los Angeles and they have been a tremendous anchor for me,” Klein said.
“Additionally, I am blessed by the way in which God has taken care of me both
physically and spiritually all the way from when I began my career in 1998 until
today. It has been amazing to see the path that He has had me on and something
that I hope to continue after this year. I have been playing this game since I
was a kid and I am very thankful to be able to be able to do what I love for the
past 13 years and to walk away from that is going to be an adjustment, but I
believe that God prepares us for different seasons in our life and He has
prepared me to start a new one.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Chris Klein's career

Klein is the third Galaxy player to
retire this season, joining Clint Mathis, who retired from the game in August
and Eddie Lewis, who announced his retirement earlier today, though, like Klein,
he will remain with the club through the end of the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. To
purchase tickets or for more information about Sunday’s regular season finale
against FC Dallas, the final regular season game of Klein and Lewis’ careers,
please visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 1-877-3GALAXY
(342-5299).

 

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