Davy Arnaud, one of the most underrated mainstays in the modern history of MLS, quietly retired over the offseason – and on Saturday night at RFK Stadium, he got an emotional send-off from his club.
D.C. United honored the workhorse midfielder alongside his family before their 2-0 win over Portland, giving fans – as well as a star-studded cast, via a video tribute, of his former teammates and coaches – a chance to say goodbye, and thank you.
Known for his tenaciousness and leadership, Arnaud played a whopping 351 games, sixth-most in MLS history, notching 50 goals and 46 assists over 14 seasons of distinguished service.
Hailing from little Nederland, Texas, Arnaud was drafted 50th overall in 2002 by Kansas City – back when they were still the Wizards – out of obscure NCAA Division II program West Texas A&M, and grew into one of the most consistent performers in MLS history.
After a decade in KC, where he became team captain, Arnaud was traded to Montreal ahead of the Impact's 2012 debut season in MLS. He made history as that team's first captain in their new league and even scored the first MLS goal in Montreal history. A move to D.C. United followed, where he became an integral box-to-box mid for Ben Olsen's side.
“I always wore my heart on my sleeve and I wanted nothing more than to win for my club and teammates,” Arnaud, who is now a member of United's coaching staff, said in a letter to fans announcing his retirement.
“I have seen the league grow from what it once was to what it is now and take pride in the fact that I got to be a part of it. MLS is something we can all be proud of and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”