The New England Revolution shot-stopper faced a long road back after suffering a quadriceps tendon tear and has opted to end his playing career to accept a coaching job with LA.At 38 years old and facing a difficult climb back from injury, New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is calling it a career after 16 MLS seasons and accepting a position as the LA Galaxy's goalkeeper coach.
A four-time Goalkeeper of the Year finalist, Reis finishes his career fourth all-time in minutes played by a goalkeeper (25,936), fifth in wins (110), fifth in saves (1,114) and sixth in shutouts (75). The Revolution announced Reis' retirement Wednesday.
"I have been truly blessed for the past 16 years," Reis said in a new release. "I've been able to do something that I love — play soccer for a living. ... I am very proud to have played my whole career in this league and with these teams. I also want to make sure the fans know how much I'll miss them, too. They've made this amazing ride more fun to be on through the years."
Reis, who began his career with the Galaxy in 1998 before being traded to the Revolution in 2003, was a member of six teams that played in the MLS Cup, winning the title in 2002 with the Galaxy. He also won two U.S. Open Cup championships, with LA in 2001 and with New England in 2007, and earned two caps with the U.S. national team.
He'll return to the club with which he started to kick off his coaching career, LA announced Wednesday.
“We are pleased to have Matt join our staff and coach the club’s goalkeepers,” Galaxy general manager and coach Bruce Arena said in a news release. “Matt’s experience as a player and knowledge of MLS will serve him well in his new role.”
The UCLA product started 12 regular-season matches and two playoff games in 2013 as he lost his position to Bobby Shuttleworth but regained the position late in the year. He went 7-0-4 with a pristine 0.72 goals against average in his final season.
Reis suffered a torn quadriceps tendon last month while playing the ball outside his box moments before New England's season ended with a loss to Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He faced a recovery of five to seven months.
Last month, Reis was named the MLS Humanitarian of the Year for saving the life of his father-in-law in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as his subsequent fundraising efforts.
"Trading for Matt Reis was one of the best acquisitions the Revolution has ever made," said Revolution owner Robert Kraft. "On the field, he was an elite MLS goalkeeper who set every career goalkeeping record in club history. He was a respected leader, both on the field and in the locker room, for more than a decade. He quickly became a fan favorite and, for much of his career, was one of the faces of our franchise."