Pete Vagenas will retire from professional soccer, the MLS stalwart told Goal.com
"I'm about to [retire], I think," Vagenas told Goal.com. The midfielder's contract wasn't extended by Chivas USA, his fourth club of a 13-year career, but that might not have played as crucial a role in the decision as it could have.
"I always aimed at 35 and I don't know why," he said. What's the immediate plan? "I've got two kids at home, a full-time dad, so I'm learning that as I go."
Vagenas started his career with the LA Galaxy in 2000. He stayed with his hometown team (Vagenas was born in Pasadena, Calif.) for nine seasons. In 2009 he joined the expansion Seattle Sounders FC with former LA coach Sigi Schmid. Two years later he moved north into Canada to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps. His final season came with the Goats.
His playing time diminished following the 2007 season. He didn't make more than 13 starts any year following that, with coaches increasingly using him as a veteran backup.
"There's always going to be – I don't care who you are – younger, faster, fitter, stronger guys coming up. That's something that you've got to deal with, regardless of what your age is. But injuries do take a toll," Vagenas said. "For me personally I wasn't always reliant on the physical side of things, to be honest. That was always sort of a personal challenge for me, because the league is a physical league. So for me personally maybe it wasn't the best fit, but I did OK I guess."
The 35-year-old won two MLS Cups, four U.S. Open Cups, one Supporters' Shield and one CONCACAF Champions' Cup. He also represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics.
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