By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
The end of the MLS season mark the beginning of a lot of change that’s far from finished. From coaching changes to player movements and it’s not even January. Some of the bigger changes come with retirement. Quite a few of the players who helped build MLS into what it is today have decided to call it a career and the list may shock you.
Brian Ching: He played in some 330 games, scored 118 goals, three MLS Cups and an MVP. To this day no one knows why a US National Team having trouble scoring goals didn’t put in Ching during the 2006 World Cup. Either way, he was one of MLS’ most dangerous strikers and a great representative of MLS.
Pablo Mastroeni: The ultimate captain on the field. He would definitely check your papers if you went through the midfield. He had upwards of 335 appearances, 65 USMNT appearances and an MLS Cup. He was the one you would build a team around.
Kevin Hartmann: The only MLS player with 400 plus appearances. Most career victories and clean sheets to go along with his two MLS Cups. He is the standard of what an MLS Keeper should be.
Ramiro Corrales: The man has been around…since the inaugural season of MLS. Yes, his first MLS stint was with the San Jose Clash back in 1996. He had some stints elsewhere but he will always be the anchor of the San Jose Earthquakes. He went off in style too.
Matt Reis: A captain’s captain. He anchored the New England Revolution since 2003. He had multiple chances at an MLS Cup but kept coming up short. He was still a rock between the pipes in MLS for a long, long time. He’s also a hero.
Chris Albright: Mr.Versatility. He played just about every position for five separate clubs and had two dozen appearances with the USMNT. Under-appreciated by the media and maybe by the fans but never by his teammates.
To these players and others, a big thank you for helping make the league what it is today.