Longtime Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber announced last Wednesday his retirement from professional soccer, ending a brilliant 15-year career highlighted by an MLS Cup and two U.S. Open Cup championships with Sporting as well as a Concacaf Gold Cup title and FIFA World Cup appearance with the United States Men’s National Team.
Feilhaber’s retirement came during a turbulent news week as sweeping developments surrounding COVID-19 grabbed headlines. Less than a week after his announcement, however, Feilhaber joined Sports Radio 810 WHB for a wide-ranging discussion with The Border Patrol hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John. The interview gave him the opportunity to discuss his decision to hang up the cleats and how he has transitioned from professional soccer player to full-time dad.
“It was an easier decision than I would have anticipated. If you had asked me three months ago, at the end of last year, I would have said I wanted to play one more year,” Feilhaber said. “But if I’m moving my family for a year, it would have to be to a team that was going to be competitive and it would have to make sense financially. A couple of options came up, but nothing that was really that interesting for me, so I made the decision with my wife: let’s stay in Kansas City, find what’s next for me and retire from professional soccer. I could have tried to stay fit and see what happens throughout the (2020) season, but I’m not going do that for six months. Running and staying fit is too hard. I thought this was the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”
Although his playing days are over, Feilhaber hopes to stay involved with Sporting Kansas City in some sort of capacity.
“The Sporting Kansas City organization has been the most important to me throughout my career, so I hope that I can get in with the club and have some kind of role going forward. If I can do that, I think watching games will be a piece of cake. I’ll be laughing at all of the guys running around and getting tired. Now I can be on the opposite side of things and analyzing games.”
Listen to the full podcast below.