Seattle Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp announced his retirement from professional soccer on Tuesday after seven years in MLS. The 28-year-old will be pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Shipp made 164 appearances across spells with Chicago Fire FC, the Montreal Impact and the Sounders. In his final full season in the league, he helped the Sounders to win the 2019 MLS Cup last November.
"This was not an easy decision because of all the amazing people at the Sounders, but I am excited to take this next step in my life,” Shipp said in a team release. “I am grateful that I was I was able to live out my childhood dreams. I grew up going to MLS games, was part of an MLS Academy in its infancy, and then got the opportunity to play for three clubs all over the continent. I am also grateful that my last full season ended in an MLS championship with Seattle.
"Thank you to all the fans who committed time and money to allow me to kick a ball for a living. Thank you to all my teammates over the years. You gave me more cultural learning experiences than I ever could have imagined from a job. Thank you to all the support staff who help make a team and club actually function. You all work way harder than any of us players. Thank you to my family, especially my wife, for being incredibly supportive on this journey. Thanks to the people of Seattle for making this feel like home for the past four years. I look forward to coming back to games as a fan!”
Shipp made 64 appearances (41 starts) for the Sounders since joining the club ahead of the 2017 season. He recorded 10 goals and seven assists in that time, helping Seattle to the 2017 MLS Cup, where they fell to Toronto FC, and back to MLS Cup last year when the Sounders got the better of Toronto.
“I want to thank Harry for his fantastic tenure with the Sounders. He helped us win a championship and was a consistent cog in our success,” said General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “He always had a positive attitude whatever role he was asked to play in our team and was a great pro. We will support him as he moves forward with his next career and we wish him the best of luck at Northwestern. We couldn’t be more proud of him for embracing his next challenge. He will be missed.”
Shipp appeared as a substitute in both of Seattle's two games this season before play was suspended due to COVID-19. A finalist for AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year following his debut season with Chicago in 2014, Shipp also served as the Sounders' representative on the MLS Players' Association during recent negotiations over a return to play with the MLS is Back Tournament next month.
"Harry has been a valuable asset to our club and helped us win a championship this past year," said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. "Since he arrived in Seattle, Harry has shown that he is a reliable player and a consummate professional. He worked hard as the union representative for our club, and was well liked in the locker room. I’m happy for Harry to start a new chapter in his life. I know how hard it was to walk away from our club, and we will miss him both on and off the field.”