'I am excited to take this next step in my life': Seattle Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp retiring
Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Harry Shipp is retiring from professional soccer, the club announced Tuesday.
Shipp, 28, calls it quits after seven seasons in Major League Soccer, with the last four being with the Sounders. He was Seattle’s player representative with the MLS Players’ Association.
“This was not an easy decision because of all the amazing people at the Sounders, but I am excited to take this next step in my life,” Shipp said in a statement. “I am grateful that I was able to live out my childhood dreams. I grew up going to MLS games, was part of an MLS Academy in its infancy, and then got the opportunity to play for three clubs all over the continent. I am also grateful that my last full season ended in an MLS championship with Seattle.”
Once a Sounder, Always a Sounder— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) June 16, 2020
Thank you for everything, @championShipp11. We'll miss you! 🛳😭 pic.twitter.com/145WCQwl7q
Shipp joined the Sounders via trade following the 2016 season. He started in 41 of 64 appearances with Seattle, helping the club to its second MLS Cup title last year. The Lake Forest, Ill. native scored 10 goals and posted seven assists in his time with the Sounders.
Shipp will be pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University in his retirement.
“I want to thank Harry for his fantastic tenure with the Sounders,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said. “He helped us win a championship and was a consistent cog in our success. He always had a positive attitude whatever role he was asked to play in our team and was a great pro. We will support him as he moves forward with his next career and we wish him the best of luck at Northwestern. We couldn’t be more proud of him for embracing his next challenge. He will be missed.”
Shipp played a season with the Montreal Impact (2016) before being traded to the Sounders, and started his MLS career with the Chicago Fire FC (2014-15).
He starred in his first MLS season in 2014, notching seven goals and six assists in 33 appearances en route to becoming an MLS Rookie of the Year finalist.
Shipp ends his career with 22 goals and 24 assists in 157 MLS regular-season appearances.
“Harry has been a valuable asset to our club and helped us win a championship this past year,” head coach Brian Schmetzer said. “Since he arrived in Seattle, Harry has shown that he is a reliable player and a consummate professional. He worked hard as the union representative for our club, and was well liked in the locker room. I’m happy for Harry to start a new chapter in his life. I know hard it was to walk away from our club, and we will miss him both on and off the field.”
Shipp shined at Notre Dame for four years before entering the MLS, helping the Fighting Irish to their first national championship in program history his senior year.
As the Sounders’ player rep, Shipp helped negotiate the agreement for the league’s plan to return to play following the COVID-19 shutdown.
“Thank you to all the fans who committed time and money to allow me to kick a ball for a living,” Shipp said. “Thank you to all my teammates over the years. You gave me more cultural learning experiences than I ever could have imagined from a job. Thank you to all the support staff who help make a team and a club actually function. You all work way harder than any of us players. Thank you to my family, especially my wife, for being incredibly supportive on this journey. Thanks to the people of Seattle for making this feel like 凯发k8地址home for the past four years.
“I look forward to coming back to a game as a fan!”
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Ben Arthur covers sports for SeattlePI. He can be reached by email at @benyarthur.