Brad Davis celebrates goal - Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC - 3/19/2016
USA Today Sports

Sporting KC's Brad Davis announces retirement after 15 years of MLS service

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Brad Davis announced Sunday that he will retire at the end of the 2016 season, capping one of the longest and most distinguished careers in MLS history.

Davis has logged 15 years in MLS, highlighted by the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup championships with the Houston Dynamo, 2011 MLS Best XI accolades, six MLS All-Star selections and a 2005 MLS Supporters’ Shield with the San Jose Earthquakes. His 123 assists and 392 games played rank third and fourth on the all-time MLS regular season charts, respectively.

“I can’t believe that the last 15 years have gone by so fast and that this journey has come to an end,” Davis said in a statement released by Sporting KC. “Along the way, I have met a lot of great people and have had the privilege to play alongside many great players. There are so many individuals that I look forward to thanking who have made me the person and the player I have become.”

Davis – who spent his entire professional career in MLS – has racked up 60 goals and 132 assists in 419 MLS appearances, including the regular season and playoffs. He became the fifth player in league history to reach 400 MLS appearances when Sporting Kanas City faced FC Dallas on April 17.

He began his pro career with the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) in 2002, and spent two seasons with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) before moving to San Jose for 2005. But it was in Houston, where the original Earthquakes franchise moved ahead of the 2006 season, that he truly made his name, becoming a star winger and member of the 2014 US World Cup team over a decade of service with the Dynamo.

He moved closer to his hometown of St Louis when he joined Sporting KC in January of this year, recording three goals and two assists in 27 appearances during the 2016 campaign.

“Brad has been a tremendous professional throughout his career and during his time with us,” Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said. “This was a very difficult decision for him, but I have the ultimate respect for Brad because he wanted to leave the game being remembered for playing at a very high level. My only disappointment is that Sporting KC didn’t get him earlier in his career, because he would have been a great asset for this club – just as he was this year. It’s sad to see him go, but at the same time I’m very happy for everything he has accomplished.”

Davis, 34, is the Dynamo’s all-time regular season leader in games played (271), starts (252) and assists (104). The left-footed midfielder guided Houston to consecutive MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007 and seven total postseason trips between 2006-2015, including two more MLS Cup appearances in 2011 and 2012. He was named an MLS All-Star every year from 2009-2013, earning MLS Best XI honors in 2011, when he notched a career-high 16 assists. He totaled at least four goals and 12 assists every season from 2009-2012.

“Brad was one of the most naturally gifted soccer players I have ever been around,” said San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear, who coached Davis in San Jose and Houston from 2005-2014. “He has had a great career and I wish him the best of luck. It was a pleasure to coach him for as many years as I did, and I felt lucky to have him on the field helping our team.”

Davis tallied four assists in 17 career appearances for the USMNT. He made his senior debut in 2005 and converted the game-winning penalty kick in the 2005 Gold Cup final against Panama. Davis later cemented a spot in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad during 2014 World Cup qualifying, making his lone World Cup appearance with a start against eventual champions Germany on June 26, 2014.