Former New England Revolution and D.C. United midfielder Clyde Simms is retiring from professional soccer because of the same kidney disease that affects former NBA star Alonzo Morning.
Simms, 31, who made the announcement in a release Thursday, spent seven seasons as an anchor in the D.C. United midfield, making 182 regular-season appearances, before joining New England for the 2012 and ’13 seasons. He said the worsening condition forced his hand.
“I’ve never really talked about this because I always chose the mind over matter approach, but my health has gotten to a point where I can no longer do that,” Simms said in a Revolution release. “… When I started playing with D.C., my kidney function was around 50 percent, and the last three years of my career it has gotten down to about 20 percent.”
Simms was diagnosed with the disease, Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, when he was a freshman in high school.
"I fell in love with this sport at a young age and was determined not to let anything stop me,” he said. “Unfortunately, for the past 10 years I have been dealing with kidney disease, and it has become too tough for me to compete at this level anymore.
“I made sure for as long as I could I would still fight for my dream, my passion. I was very lucky to have had such a great run, but now it’s time to fight another battle.”
Simms’ 182 appearances ranks fifth all-time in United history, while his 147 starts ranks sixth. Playing mainly as a defensive midfielder, he scored three goals and added seven assists in seven seasons in D.C.
With United, the East Carolina University product helped the club win back-to-back Supporters’ Shields as the league’s best regular-season club in 2006 and 2007, and also the 2008 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
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Simms joined the Revolution in December 2011 through the Re-Entry Process. In New England, Simms made 39 appearances – and 38 starts – in two seasons. He served as the club’s captain for much of the 2012 season and the early part of the 2013 season, and recorded one assist in each 2012 and 2013 while playing a deeper-lying midfield position.
In nine MLS seasons, Simms made 221 appearances and 185 starts while scoring three goals and adding nine assists. He started his professional career in 2004 with the Richmond Kickers of then USL First Division.
He also has one cap with the US national team.
“Thank you to all the fans, teammates and coaches that supported me and helped me along my journey,” Simms said.