CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis announced today his decision to retire following the completion of the 2010 MLS season. A veteran of two FIFA World Cups and possessing perhaps the best left foot in the history of U.S. Soccer, Lewis is in his third season with the Galaxy after signing with the club in August 2008. An MLS original that played for San Jose from 1996-1999, Lewis spent nearly nine years playing with four different clubs in England before joining the Galaxy. Lewis 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.
“Eddie Lewis is arguably the finest left-sided midfielder in the history of U.S. Soccer,” Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said. “His play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, MLS and English football secures his place in the Hall of Fame. We will miss having him here with us every day and we thank him for his outstanding contributions to our organization and the game and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”
[inline_node:30769]After a standout career at UCLA, Lewis, a native of Cerritos, Calif., remained in California to begin his professional career when he was drafted by the San Jose Clash (now Earthquakes) in the Third Round of the 1996 MLS College Draft. He spent four years in San Jose, appearing in 115 regular season games for the club and establishing himself as one of the best young midfielders in the league. He set a career-high and club record that still stands today with 14 assists in 1997 and then matched that total in 1999 when he also had a career-high four goals en route to being named to his first MLS All-Star team and garnering MLS Best XI honors.
After the 1999 MLS season, Lewis signed with Fulham and spent three years with the club, helping them earn promotion to the Premier League for the first time ever during the 2001-02 campaign. He then joined First Division side Preston North End ahead of the start of the 2002-03 season and spent three seasons with the club. A fan favorite at Deepdale, Lewis appeared in more than 100 games for the club and nearly helped lead them to the Premier League for the first time in club history, only to lose out to West Ham in the 2005 Playoff Final.
[inline_node:30776]Following that season, Lewis signed with Leeds United and immediately helped lead them back to the brink of the Premier League. Lewis scored in the first leg of the Playoff semifinal against former club Preston North End to book Leeds a spot in the 2006 Playoff Final, but for the second straight season, Lewis ended up on the losing side of this game, falling to Watford. He was named Leeds’ Fans Player of the Year for the 2006-07 season and was sold to Derby County of the Premier League shortly after the start of the 2007-08 season.
After one season with Derby, Lewis returned to MLS, signing with the Galaxy in August 2008. He has played nearly 50 regular season game with the club since then, scoring three times and adding six assists.
“First off, I would like to thank the entire Galaxy organization and the club’s supporters for all of the support that they have given me since I joined the club. Having been born and raised in Southern California, this is a dream place for me to end my career,” Lewis said. “I’m so proud to have been able to have had the experiences that the sport of soccer has afforded me. I have played in two World Cups, in one of the world’s biggest leagues and so much more, but more importantly, along the way I have been able to do things that I never otherwise would have. Through the game I have had the chance to travel the world, live abroad, meet all kinds of wonderful people and get a cultural education that I will be forever grateful for. The game has given me all sorts of wonderful memories, but it is only now hitting me just how lucky I am to have been able to experience all of this.”
[inline_node:30779]A member of the U.S. National Team at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Lewis was capped 82 times by his country, collecting 10 goals and 16 assists. He appeared in five of the eight games that the U.S. played in at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, recording an assist on Landon Donovan’s goal in the 2002 World Cup Round of 16 win over Mexico, while also helping the U.S. qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
Lewis is the second Galaxy player to retire this season, joining Clint Mathis, who retired from the game in August, though Lewis will remain with the club through the end of the 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 Lewis’ careers, please visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299).