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The veteran defender will call time on his soccer career to start a career in medicine.

D.C. United defender Robbie Russell has announced his retirement after a 13-year professional soccer career. The 33-year-old will now enroll in Georgetown University’s Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program.

“It’s been one of those careers that if when I started I knew that was going to happen, I totally wouldn’t have expected it,” Russell said. “I’m very happy with my career – so, I’m just looking forward to going back to school, a little bit scared, but it’s really exciting and it’s a lot of fun."

Russell started his professional career in Europe, where he played for Icelandic Premier Division side Breidablik (2000), Norwegian Tippeligaen clubs Sogndal I.L. (2001-04) and Rosenborg BK (2004-06), and Danish Superligaen side Viborg FF (2006-08).

He then moved back home to Major League Soccer, where he signed with Real Salt Lake and scored the winning penalty kick in a shootout in the 2009 MLS Cup against the Galaxy. He moved to D.C. United prior to the 2012 season.

Overall, Russell made 98 Major League Soccer appearances (84 starts), scoring two goals and assisting on nine others.

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