Columbus Crew SC forward and 10-year Major League Soccer veteran Conor Casey today announced his retirement from professional soccer.
The 35-year-old forward’s career included experience in the Bundesliga as well as with the United States Men's National Team in addition to a decade of Major League Soccer experience. With 71 career tallies in MLS, Casey is tied for 23rd all-time in regular-season goals and retires an MLS Cup champion after winning a title with the Colorado Rapids in 2010.
PHOTOS: Conor Casey's career
In his final season and one year with the Black & Gold, Casey played his last match as a member of Columbus Crew SC, earning a substitute appearance – MLS regular-season appearance number 195 — on Sunday, October 23 at New York City FC. A two-time MLS All-Star, Casey finished his MLS career with 12,699 regular-season minutes played and added 24 assists.
“I feel very fortunate today. I've been able to make a life from doing what I love,” said Casey. “This beautiful game has brought me all over the world, shown me places and people I would have never seen. From empty training fields to packed stadiums with screaming fans, it has given me back everything I've poured into many times over.
“Thank you to my family for giving me every opportunity to follow my dreams, to my friends for their support, to my wife and baby for their love, to my teammates for inspiration and to the fans for that feeling that can't be matched. Until next time.”
Casey’s MLS Cup title with the Colorado Rapids came back in 2010, his fourth year with the club. He scored the game-tying goal in the 57th minute of the 2010 MLS Cup against FC Dallas and was named MLS Cup MVP following the match. In 2009, following a career-best 16 goal campaign, Casey was named to the MLS Best XI. He was named as an MLS All-Star twice, including to the gameday roster for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game.
“I want to congratulate Conor Casey on a long and prosperous career in professional soccer,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "I have had the pleasure of getting to know Conor and throughout our time together, Conor was a consummate professional, a prolific goal scorer and had a tremendous work ethic that I admired. Here with Crew SC, Conor battled through several injuries this season and yet he kept a positive attitude throughout his time in Columbus and so I was happy to see him make one final appearance to round-out his career. We wish him nothing but the best in the next chapter of his life.”
After two years at the University of Portland, Casey began his professional career in Germany by signing with Borussia Dortmund. In Germany, he played for Dortmund in addition to Hannover 96, Karlsruher SC and 1. FSV Mainz 05 through 2006, totaling 44 appearances in the first-division Bundesliga as well as 49 in the 2. Bundesliga.
In 2007, Casey returned to North America after joining Toronto FC. He was traded to the Rapids on April 19 of that year, where he went on to score 50 goals over 119 appearances with the club. Casey moved to the Philadelphia Union ahead of the 2013 campaign, where he notched his fourth double-digit MLS goal-scoring season that year after scoring 10 times.
Internationally, Casey earned 19 caps for the United States, scoring two goals. He made his senior debut for the Stars & Stripes on March 31, 2004 against Poland. On October 10, 2009, he scored two goals at Honduras in a qualification match ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At the Under-23 level, Casey played in the 2000 Summer Olympics for the United States before becoming a professional.
Columbus Crew SC forward Conor Casey announces his retirement on October 27, 2016.