Sporting KC midfielder Brad Davis announces retirement after decorated 15-year MLS career

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Brad Davis announced Sunday that he will retire from professional soccer at the end of the 2016 MLS season.

Davis will leave Major League Soccer after a brilliant 15-year career highlighted by 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup championships, 2011 MLS Best XI accolades, six MLS All-Star selections and a 2005 MLS Supporters’ Shield. 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. “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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Including playoffs, Davis has amassed 60 goals 132 assists in 419 MLS appearances. He became the fifth player in league history to reach 400 MLS appearances when Sporting Kanas City faced FC Dallas on April 17. He retires as the all-time MLS leader in corner kicks (1,269) and is one shy of the all-time lead in game-winning assists (40).

A member of MLS for the duration of his career, Davis joined Sporting Kansas City in January after spending 10 seasons with the Houston Dynamo. He has recorded three goals and two assists in 27 appearances during the 2016 campaign, helping Sporting KC contend for a club-record sixth straight berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Davis, 34, ended a 10-year stint in Houston as 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.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Davis has reached double digits in assists seven times throughout his career, joining Landon Donovan as the only MLS players to accomplish the feat. His career blossomed in his first two seasons at Houston, where he played in every playoff match of both MLS Cup runs in 2006 and 2007.

Davis 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, a stretch that saw Houston reach the MLS Cup twice more.

During Major League Soccer’s Opta era (2011-present, including playoffs), Davis ranks first in assists (64), third in chances created (415), second in chances created from set pieces (215), second in corner kicks (678) and fourth in successful crosses from open play (110).

A two-year college star at Saint Louis University, Davis was taken third overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft by the MetroStars. Following his rookie campaign in New York, Davis moved to the Dallas Burn where he was a regular starter from 2003-2004. He then joined the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005, landing his first MLS All-Star selection and a Supporters’ Shield title during his only season in San Jose before the club relocated to Houston in 2006.

Davis tallied four assists in 17 career appearances for the United States Men’s National Team. He earned his senior team debut in 2005 and converted the game-winning penalty kick in the 2005 Gold Cup Final against Panama. Davis cemented a spot in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, making his lone World cup appearance with a start against eventual champion Germany on June 26, 2014. As a youth international, Davis represented the U.S. at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels.

Davis attended Chaminade College Preparatory School in suburban St. Louis and culminated his high school career as the 1999 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year.

Brad Davis: Career Honors

  • MLS Cup champion — 2006, 2007
  • MLS Cup finalist — 2011, 2012
  • MLS Supporters’ Shield — 2005
  • MLS Best XI — 2011
  • MLS All-Star — 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup champion
  • 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran

Brad Davis: All-time MLS ranks (regular season)

  • Games played — 392 (4th)
  • Games started — 339 (t-8th)
  • Minutes played — 29,577 (10th)
  • Assists — 123 (3rd)
  • Corners — 1,269 (1st)
  • Game-winning assists — 40 (3rd)
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