The transition wasn't as smooth as it was supposed to be.
Cleared medically to play one final game in SuperLiga action against Morelia on Tuesday, red tape from the league denied the 36-year-old his farewell match.
"Some things came up," Ralston said, according to the Boston Herald.
Instead the all-time MLS leader in assists (135), games (378), starts (372), and minutes played (33,143) quietly ended his playing career with a wave to the crowd before the match.
"I wish I could do it forever, but I know that Father Time has been telling my body over the past couple of years and trying to give me hints," Ralston said. "I couldn’t really do it anymore."
Now the MLS original will sit behind the sideline chalk as an assistant to Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear.
"He's been a fantastic player over the years," Kinnear said. "Being friends with him, we've talked soccer a lot, and I have a lot of respect for his views on the game. He’s a person of excellent character, and he’s very honest and loyal, and for me that makes a great addition to the staff."
Kinnear's assistant since 2006, John Spencer, recently left the club and is expected to take over the Portland Timbers when the club joins MLS in 2011.
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