Crew veteran Brian Maisonneuve retires

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Crew General Manager Mark McCullers and Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis announced today that veteran Crew midfielder Brian Maisonneuve has retired from professional soccer.

Maisonneuve has accepted a position to be an assistant coach with the U.S. Under-17 National Team. Maisonneuve, his wife, Diania, and son, Jacob, will relocate to Bradenton, Florida.

"After playing in Columbus for nine years, I really don't even know where to start," said Maisonneuve. "For my entire professional career I've been blessed to play for the best organization, in front of the best fans, and with some of the greatest guys in the entire league. I would like to thank everybody - from the smiling faces in autograph alley to the medical staff that kept me on the field - for making my time here in Columbus so wonderful for me and my entire family. The friends and memories that I have made here in Columbus I will always hold close to my heart. I always thought that when I retire the hardest part of it would be not playing soccer on a daily basis, but that's not the case. It is leaving a fantastic league, it's walking away from the best organization, in a great city, with the best fans. And its saying goodbye to the family that is created every year in the locker room. Thanks for the best nine years of my life. I Love you Columbus."

Maisonneuve was the last original Crew member, having spent his entire nine-year professional career in Major League Soccer with Columbus. He was allocated to The Crew in 1996 prior to the inaugural MLS season. Maisonneuve's retirement was accelerated by a series of ankle injuries and surgeries throughout his career, including surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2000 season.

"Brian Maisonneuve has been an integral part of the Columbus Crew since the inagural season," said Andrulis. "He has epitomized what this franchise is all about. Hardworking, dedicated and community minded. Although injuries curtailed his career, his presence as a player and a person will be forever remembered and a benchmark for future players who wear the Black & Gold."

The three-time MLS All-Star and 1998 World Cup veteran has appeared in 172 games for The Crew, starting 159. His 159 starts rank second on the Crew career list and his 172 starts and 13,920 minutes played are third all-time.

"On behalf of the Crew organization, our founder Lamar Hunt, and our entire ownership group, I would like to express our gratitude to Brian Maisonneuve for his exemplary service during his nine-year career with The Crew" said McCullers. "We wish him and his family the very best. His leadership and presence will be missed."

The former Indiana University great and Hermann Trophy Award winner ranks fifth all-time on The Crew list in points (83), fourth in assists (37), sixth in goals (23), tied for third in game-winning goals (8) and fourth in game-winning assists (8). He also tallied the first hat trick in Crew history.

"We are extremely excited for Brian Maisonneuve to join the U.S. Under-17 National Team coaching staff," said U.S. U-17 National Team Head Coach John Hackworth. "Brian brings a wealth of international and professional playing experience to the U.S. U-17 Residency program and we look forward Brian sharing his experiences with our up-and-coming players."

The U.S. International made 13 appearances for the U.S. National Team, starting seven games, including playing in all three games in the 1998 World Cup in France. Maisonneuve started all three games for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996, scoring two of the four goals the team scored.