Longtime Sounders defender Zach Scott to retire at end of 2016 season

Zach Scott - Seattle Sounders

Zach Scott is hanging them up.

The longtime Seattle Sounders defender told The Seattle Times in an interview this week that he’ll retire at the end of the 2016 season, his 15th with the Sounders.

“I was always worried that when I retired, it would be at a point where I felt like I didn’t have it any more, that it would be an easy decision,” Scott told the Times. “… Now, it’s actually a good thing. At least I’m going out not hobbling around, not being pushed out of the team because I can’t do it anymore. I’m doing it of my own volition.”

The 36-year-old has been with the Sounders since their USL days, joining the team in 2002 after he impressed head coach Brian Schmetzer – now Seattle’s interim head man – at an open tryout. Though he wasn’t initially expected to make the jump with the team to MLS in 2009, Scott has stuck with the Sounders for the entirety of their run in the top-flight, totaling two goals and two assists in 129 regular season and playoff appearances.  

The center back has made 12 league appearances for the Sounders this year, last playing in Seattle’s 1-1 draw at Houston on Aug. 24. He’s won four US Open Cup titles, one Supporters’ Shield and two USL titles during his time with the Sounders.

Seattle, who have never missed the playoffs since joining MLS, will return to action on Saturday, when they’ll host the seventh-place Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field (4 pm ET; MLS LIVE in the US; TSN1 in Canada). Seattle are currently in ninth-place in the West, six points behind the Portland Timbers for the conference’s sixth and final playoff berth.