Brad Davis has won two MLS Cups, started for the US national team at a World Cup, seen the league where he has played for 15 years go from contraction and uncertainty to a boom of expansion.
It will be hard to step away from that, he acknowledged, but it's almost time for him to begin life after the game.
“It's very bittersweet for me, and difficult,” Davis told reporters during a conference call on Sunday, after announcing that he will retire at the end of Sporting Kansas City's season. “But it's a decision I'm happy with, my family is happy with. It's something I've been thinking about, and I think this is the right time to take the next step in life.”
Before that, Davis – who has a strained Achilles tendon that kept him out of the 18 for Sunday's Decision Day match against San Jose – would like to help his club make a run in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.
“I do feel like I have a chance,” he said. “Obviously, we have to get through today, but I'm pushing and trying to do everything I can to be available for these games. I would kind of say it's a day-to-day type thing. I wouldn't say it's extremely serious.
“I don't have the benefit of waiting a couple of weeks to make sure that it's right,” he said. “I really have to push this.”
Davis, who came over in an offseason trade from Houston – where he won MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007 – had one year left on his contract when he told manager and technical director Peter Vermes of his decision this past week.
“I told him that I just didn't feel right accepting that money and coming in not knowing if I was going to be healthy and able to contribute the way I know and feel that I want to contribute,” he said. “And I wanted to do the right thing by the organization.”
Davis has made 24 appearances (with 14 starts) this season, scoring twice and notching one assist. Both are career lows.
“I always told myself that when I felt I'm not competing or contributing at the level it takes to do this – play professional soccer – that it was going to be time to step away,” he said. “So I know I can still compete at a certain level, but after doing it for 15 years at a high level, playing a lot, and now I'm not, whether it's due to injuries or time – and missing my family.
“I have three children now, and the travel and all those things add up.”
Davis will remain in the Kansas City area, but he's not going into coaching or a front office position with Sporting. He's going from making plays on the pitch to making deals in meeting rooms, working for a venture capital firm in the suburb of Leawood, Kansas.
“I don't really talk about it. I've never really talked about it unless someone's really close to me,” he said. “But it's always been a passion of mine, and I'm really looking forward to this opportunity. I want to be involved in soccer in some way, obviously, but my first step is to take a step back from it and get into something new that excites me.”