Transfer Tracker

Florian Jungwirth retires, joins Vancouver Whitecaps coaching staff

Florian Jungwirth


Longtime defender Florian Jungwirth announced his retirement from professional soccer on Friday, putting an end to an extensive career that spanned 15 years – the final seven of them in Major League Soccer with the San Jose Earthquakes and, most recently, Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The 34-year-old former center back, who was out of contract following the 2022 season, will immediately transition to Vancouver's technical staff as an assistant to head coach Vanni Sartini.

“I have so many great memories with the most beautiful game in the world,” Jungwirth, a veteran of over 400 matches with six different clubs, said in an official statement.

“I’m grateful for all the players, coaches and staff members who shared the road with me."

The German native, who captained his country's UEFA European Under-19 Championship-winning side in 2008, came out of the 1860 Munich academy and made his professional debut with the club's reserve team a year prior. Additional stops with Dynamo Dresden, VfL Bochum and Darmstadt 98 followed before he joined the Earthquakes in 2017.

Jungwirth immediately established himself as a fixture of San Jose's backline, earning club Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017 and 2019. Midway through the 2021 campaign, he was dealt to Vancouver.

In 2022, his final season, he helped the 'Caps win the Canadian Championship and earn a subsequent berth in this year's Concacaf Champions League tournament. In total, he tallied 6g/10a in 151 regular-season MLS games.

"I'm really grateful that the Vancouver Whitecaps, Axel Schuster and Vanni Sartini have given me this outstanding chance to work as the assistant coach with the first team. It’s a big form of trust and I can’t wait to pay it back,” Jungwirth said.

Despite Jungwirth's departure, Vancouver maintain the starting back three of Javain Brown, Ranko Veselinovic and Tristan Blackmon. They've also brought in defenders Karifa Yao and Mathías Laborda during the offseason.

The Whitecaps open their 2023 MLS campaign on Feb. 25 when hosting Real Salt Lake (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).