SAN JOSE, Calif. - Former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Manny Lagos announced his retirement from professional soccer today, ending a 14-year professional soccer career, including 10 seasons in Major League Soccer. During his MLS career, Lagos won three MLS Cups, while scoring 27 goals and notching 36 assists in 170 career games.
"I feel like that I have been blessed with a great career," said Lagos. "I want to thank my family and friends for their support during my career, particularly my mother and father. I also especially want to thank my wife, Aimee, and I am looking forward to spending more time with her and my two boys."
Lagos, 34, started his MLS career in 1996 with the MetroStars, where he played two seasons (1996-97), despite suffering a major knee injury (torn ACL, MCL, LCL) in 1996. After moving to the Chicago Fire for the team's inaugural season in 1998, the St. Paul, Minn. native suffered another knee injury (torn patella tendon) that limited him to 10 games during his Fire career, before being moved to the former Tampa Bay Mutiny. Lagos earned his first MLS Cup Championship ring in 1998 with the Fire.
With the Mutiny, Lagos revived his career, scoring four goals and notching five assists in just 19 games in 1999, before exploding for eight goals and seven assists in 2000 with Tampa Bay. In 2000, the Mutiny finished with 52 points and the fourth best record in the league.
2001 marked the best season of Lagos' career as he moved to the San Jose Earthquakes in a draft-day trade. Slotted into the left side of midfield, he netted eight goals and eight assists, while earning a spot in the MLS All-Star Game. The Quakes had their best regular season in history to that point, finishing with 45 points. In the playoffs, Lagos continued to elevate his play, scoring three goals and notching two assists helping the Quakes win their first-ever MLS Cup Championship. Lagos played two more seasons with San Jose and helped the club win a second MLS Cup in 2003 before leaving the club following 2003. Lagos finished his Quakes career with 14 goals and 17 assists.
Lagos capped off his MLS career with the Columbus Crew where he played 23 matches, helping the Crew to the Supporters Shield in 2004.
Prior to Lagos' storied MLS career, he played six seasons with the Minnesota Thunder (1990-95), which is currently in the United Soccer Leagues First Division. He was the USISL MVP in 1994 with 18 goals and nine assists. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee All-American also played two seasons in Europe, playing for Lerida (Spain) in 1992 and Clairmont-Ferrand (France) in 1994.
Lagos also had a distinguished career with the United States National Team, playing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He scored the game-winning goal against Kuwait in the United States' lone win of the tournament. With the senior national team, he earned three caps, including an appearance in the 2002 Gold Cup against South Korea.