Longtime Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic announced today his retirement from soccer after a brilliant 11-year playing career. His message to family, fans, teammates, coaches and owners is below.

Thank you.

More than anything, I want to say thank you to the people who supported and encouraged me throughout my 11 years of playing professionally in MLS. I am officially announcing my retirement today. It is difficult to say goodbye to a career and a chapter of my life that I loved so much, but I know this is the right time. I especially want to say thank you to Kansas City and the fans who supported me for nine of those years. It was an incredible honor to play for my hometown club.

I was a high school kid who didn’t get many looks from colleges. I was a walk-on freshman at Creighton University. Here I am today looking back and reflecting on a successful career in MLS that was over a decade long. I could claim it was my talent and work ethic behind that success, but anyone in professional sports knows they do not do it alone. I must give credit to all of those who believed in me, who pushed me, who helped me to achieve my dream of playing at the highest level.

I want to start by thanking my mom and dad. From day one my parents supported my dream of playing soccer. Driving me to all of my practices, tournaments, and seemingly never missing a game. I am so thankful for the opportunities they provided me growing up, along with unlimited advice and support along the way, including some coaching in the early years. To my sister Emily and my brother Adam, a huge thank you. I have always looked up to you and am grateful for your unwavering support.

To my wife Lauren, who has been such an integral part of my success and happiness. You always encouraged me to be the best and most authentic version of myself on and off the field. Being the wife of a soccer player is not always easy and you handled it with grace. To my daughter Hattie, I hope you can look back on my time and say your dad was part of some pretty cool moments you can be proud of.

I wouldn’t be here without the coaches who have not only guided me in becoming a better player, but even more so, a better person. Alan Jones and Gareth Huges were my first club coaches and were instrumental in developing my love of soccer but also what it means to be part of a team. Bob Warming, Jason Mims, Kevin Doyle, Jonny Torres and Paul Harvey took the torch and took a chance on me at Creighton. Steve Nicol gave me my first opportunity with the New England Revolution and Bruce Arena gave me a final opportunity last year that created new memories and friends for which I am very thankful. Peter Vermes, Kerry Zavagnin and Zoran Savic brought me to Kansas City and gave me another opportunity to play in this league and I will never forget that.

To my teammates, from the New England Revolution to Sporting Kansas City, I want to offer my deepest thanks. I was fortunate to be a part of great teams and great locker rooms that made coming to training fun every day. The memories and friendships I have developed over the years and continue to have are what I value above it all. While I know I will miss the game, the competition and the everyday grind, I will miss being around the team more than anything.

To all of the behind the scenes guys, my trainers and believers in my body, I am incredibly grateful. You all fueled and healed me, giving it the gas to run as long as it did. You may not be mentioned in the news, but you are more valuable than you will ever be recognized for. To the SKC trainers specifically—Kenny, Chet, Kurt, Tosh, Chris, Jake and so many others along the way—thank you for being my body's number one fan. To Farrell and Rick, thank you for everything that you do. Not just scheduling, but all of the things that go on behind the scenes that people don’t typically see. I would also like to thank all of the team doctors, especially Dr. Erickson and Dr. Luallin.

To Robo and everyone in the communications department, thank you for helping orchestrate all of the behind-the-curtains things that many will never know about—so many things that do not go unnoticed by the team. Also, to the equipment staff who make life easy. To Mike, Sammy, Andy and so many others over the years, thank you for everything. To all of the staff within the organization and anyone I might have missed, you have all been part of some of the best moments of my life. Thank you.

My career would not have been possible without the Sporting Kansas City organization and ownership. Thank you to the Illigs, Pattersons, Madays, Currans and Heinemans who made me feel a part of the family from day one, and that has never changed. Gratitude is a word that does not begin to describe how I feel at this moment. Coming back to KC and being part of the growth and success of this team and organization was more than I could have ever imagined. From the opening of the new stadium, the four trophies I was so fortunate to be part of, the Cauldron and the incredible atmosphere at Children’s Mercy Park, I cannot stress enough how thankful I am. I am Kansas City born and raised and I take so much pride in what was and will continue to be accomplished with this great organization. Every single person in this organization makes Sporting KC the best of the best.

And finally, to all the fans. You, more than anyone, kept me going. Kansas City is the place every player wants to play because of the team’s success, but also because of the community that supports it. You will never know how much of an impact you have on our performance, and I am so thankful for you.

Seth Sinovic