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Devon McTavish Retires, Soccer Loses A Great Man

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Devon McTavish is yet another United player retiring too young
Devon McTavish is yet another United player retiring too young

Drawing an unfortunate conclusion to the career of a versatile player for D.C. United and an even better member of the D.C. community, Devon McTavish announced his retirement today.

The 27-year old defender spent his entire MLS career with United, playing in 83 matches in six seasons, but missed all of the 2011 season due to a concussion suffered during preseason training. McTavish made the bench a few times at the end of the year, and was able to get a bit of playing time in the reserve league, but didn't log any minutes with the first team.

McTavish's retirement feels much different from the retirement of Santino Quaranta earlier this month. Quaranta didn't retire from professional soccer because he was unable to contribute. He retired to pursue other opportunities, other goals, other dreams.

Seeing McTavish retire though is like seeing a friend get laid off. McTavish retired because his skills were below the skills of his coworkers. Because there wasn't a spot for him anymore. Not with his current company, and probably not with any other company in the industry. Quaranta retired while he still had the opportunity to make $100,000 a year playing soccer. McTavish retired because he'll never have that opportunity.

Sure, injuries prevented him from playing this year, and that obviously set him back. If he hadn't suffered a concussion this preseason, McTavish would likely be preparing for next season, rather than hanging up his boots. Instead though, he joins the list of former United players whose careers had to end too soon. That list already includes Bryan Namoff, Josh Gros, Alecko Eskandarian, and Quaranta. But not Zach Wells.

Favorite McTavish memories? Undoubtedly its the 2008 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, in which McTavish scored three goals in the two-game qualifying round against Harbour View FC. The first came in the road leg in Jamaica, then he notched two more back home at RFK.

Nah. Who am I kidding? My favorite McTavish moment is this one. So long, Devon.