In a long-rumored move, D.C. United midfielder Davy Arnaud has announced his retirement after 14 seasons in Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City, the Montreal Impact and the Black-and-Red. Arnaud had not played since last August 22 after suffering a concussion while playing against the San Jose Earthquakes and attempted to come back this winter in preseason, but according to his announcement the symptoms of that concussion have not yet cleared:
It's been an amazing journey. Thanks to everyone I've met along the way....... pic.twitter.com/7cNmgQgW6u— Davy Arnaud (@d_arnaud22) March 3, 2016
Arnaud leaves MLS as seventh highest in games played in the league after being drafted by the then Kansas City Wizards in 2002.
Arnaud finished his career in seventh place in terms of all-time appearances by an MLS player. After a decade with the Kansas City Wizards/Sporting Kansas City - during which he won the US Open Cup and played in an MLS Cup final - he was traded to Montreal after the 2011 season and was named the team's first captain, and scored the first goal in that club's MLS history. He came to D.C. after the 2013 season and was a mainstay in midfield until the injury that is presumably leading to his announcement, which comes on the same day that former United States women's soccer player Brandi Chastain says she will be donating her brain to science in the attempt to determine more about CTE in athletes.
Arnaud was a veteran presence in a locker room with several already there and is well-respected among his peers in the league. D.C. has players such as Marcelo Sarvas and Julian Buescher who will fill his position from a depth chart perspective. And from a salary cap perspective, Arnaud's option, picked up at a $225,000 according to Goff in January, will remain on the books for the year, similar (apparently) to Eddie Johnson's cap spot situation in 2015, when the forward made his retirement to a heart condition official in November.
We wish Davy and his family well and hope he continues to get his head healthy now, while kicking the butts of those he'll get to watch in training every week.