Santino Quaranta was once the youngest player ever drafted in MLS. That was just 11 years ago. Now his career is over.
Quaranta was drafted by DC United in 2001, won a championship with United in 2004, and now he’s retiring as a member of United. Even though he spent a few years as a journeyman in between, Quaranta was black-and-red through and through.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post spoke with Quaranta about his decision to retire at the age of 27.
Although five clubs contacted him, he decided to "walk away on my terms. … It’s scary. I haven’t done anything else since I was 5 years old. But I kept asking myself: ‘What are you doing this for anymore?’ I don’t feel like I’ve got anything more to accomplish. It’s time."
Quaranta’s professional playing days may be over, but he isn’t quitting the sport. He’ll spend his time running the Pipeline Soccer Club in Baltimore that he helped launch last year, and also continue his work educating players about substance abuse and rehab programs, which is something that Quaranta is expertly familiar with. Regardless of your feelings of Quaranta as a player, he deserves tons of credit for fighting addiction, and now helping others do the same.
The decision to retire couldn’t have come easily for Quaranta. But he ultimately decided that he’d rather not play soccer anymore than play soccer anywhere else but D.C. He’s like the anti-Carson Palmer.
Quaranta finishes his MLS career with 180 games played in 11 seasons, 29 goals, and 27 assists. He was a passionate leader on the field and in the locker room for United, and deserved to be a fan favorite. So as fans, would you care to share your favorite memory of Santino Quaranta?