According to Steve Goff of the Washington Post, D.C. United reserve fullback Luke Mishu has retired to pursue non-soccer opportunities. A common occurance in the earlier days of the league, Mishu is retiring to hopefully enter the business world; as he told Goff:
I had to be realistic. I love soccer, but MLS isn’t the NFL or NBA. I felt like I could play until I was 30-whatever, but I didn’t want to leave the league needing to get an entry-level job.
A decade ago, it was common for MLS players on the low end of the payment scale to have off-season jobs to make ends meet. Even in today’s world of higher minimum salaries, living in DC, Northern Virginia, or Marylad is an expensive proposition; many young United players have lived together in various arrangments.
United was thin at fullback throughout the year: Taylor Kemp and Sean Franklin were the clear starters, and converted midfielder Nick DeLeon took over for Franklin when the latter was injured at the end of the year. United is currently negotiating a new contract with Franklin, and the only other fullback on the roster was Chris Korb; his injury ruled him out of the entire season, and his future with the team is very much up in the air. It was already a position United was going to have to address in the offseason, and it has now become even more important.
We have reached out to United for information about the status of other players and will update when we have more details.