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William Hesmer, a steady professional in goal, retires

Feb 18, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT

Columbus Crew v Colorado Rapids Getty Images

Some goalkeepers are barely getting their careers up to speed at age 31.

Just look at Brad Guzan. The U.S. backup is 28 and he just landed his first truly plum starting assignment (plus on a bigger scale, at least, as he was formerly a starter in Major League Soccer).

So it’s unfortunate to see William Hesmer, a solid pro over about a decade in Major League Soccer, retire at the relatively young goalkeeping age of 31.

Clemente Lisi at USSoccerPlayers.com has the story.

Hesmer became the Columbus Crew starter in 2007, helping guide the club to an MLS Cup title the next year. He was 3-0-1 in that post-season run with just three goals allowed.

Hesmer was always a solid choice in goal; he was never going to challenge for a national team spot, but at league level the Wake Forest man was reliably ensconced in Major League Soccer’s middle class neighborhood. Given a restrictive salary cap, every club needs the reliable, reasonably priced work-a-days; it’s just a matter of where the teams choose to deploy them on the field.

A hip injury in spring of 2012 took Hesmer off the field for the entire season, opening the door for longtime backup Andy Gruenebaum, who proved time and again through the a busy campaign behind an iffy “D” that he was no mere backup.

That made Hesmer expendable and Columbus declined his option for the 2013 season. The LA Galaxy gained his rights through Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft. When failing to come to terms with the champs, Hesmer chose to move on.

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