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An MLS all-time great retires as Matt Reis calls it a career

Dec 11, 2013, 10:54 AM EDT

Matt Reis, Oriol Rosell AP

UPDATE: Reis was not unemployed for long.

New England goalkeeper Matt Reis retired on Wednesday after a marvelous career filled with honors from both on the pitch and off.

Reis played 16 years in MLS, starring for the Revs while making 254 appearances from 2003-13. He won a CONCACAF Champions Cup, an MLS Cup and a Supporters Shield with L.A. in 2002. He also won a US Open Cup with the Galaxy, repeating the feat with New England in 2007.

Reis released a statement:

I have been truly blessed for the past 16 years. I’ve been able to do something that I love – play soccer for a living. There have been many coaches who have influenced my development and helped get me to this point, and I have played with some fantastic players, many of whom are friends for life. I have played for two amazing organizations over the years. Both of those owners, the Kraft family and Mr. Anschutz, are deeply committed to ensuring soccer thrives in the United States.

“Because of their guidance, MLS has come a long way in the last two decades, and I am very proud to have played my whole career in this league and with these teams. I also want to make sure the fans know how much I’ll miss them, too. They’ve made this amazing ride more fun to be on through the years.”

Reis also won the 2013 MLS Humanitarian of the Year award and played the role of hero during the Boston Marathon bombing, saving his father-in-law’s life and then raising over $125,000 for his recovery.

Revs operator Robert Kraft weighed in on Reis’ time with New England.

“Trading for Matt Reis was one of the best acquisitions the Revolution has ever made. On the field, he was an elite MLS goalkeeper who set every career goalkeeping record in club history. He was a respected leader, both on the field and in the locker room, for more than a decade. He quickly became a fan-favorite and, for much of his career, was one of the faces of our franchise.”

The UCLA product finished his career with 110 victories and 75 clean sheets. Moreover, he’s firmly entrenched among the best of the best in MLS goalkeeping history, “fourth in games played in goal (282), games started in goal (288) and minutes played in goal (25,936), fifth in wins (110) and saves (1,114) and sixth in shutouts (75),” according to the MLS web site.

The longest-tenured player on the New England Revolution is now Chris Tierney, who signed a new contract with the club in August. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth has been with New England since 2009 and played 22 games for the Revs last year, posting a 7-11-5 mark with nine shutouts. The University at Buffalo product is the only goalkeeper with MLS experience left on New England’s roster, with Indiana product and 2013 second round pick Luis Sofner yet to feature.

  1. dfstell - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Congrats on a good career for him. When I started playing soccer as an adult and eventually turned into a goalkeeper, I always found it inspiring that there was a professional GK like Reis who was built about like me and was only a couple years younger than me.

    Part of the reason I never played soccer as a kid (and young man) was that I just didn’t identify with these little elfin field players. When I would try to play, there are just things that small men can do that big men cannot due to the laws of physics. Reis was one of those guys who made me feel like this was a sport that I was capable of playing during those frustrating times when I was just learning.

  2. hildezero - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    “the Kraft family”, “are deeply committed to ensuring soccer thrives in the United States.”

    Ha! Yeah right… Krafts are the worst owners in MLS after Jorge Vergara.

    • Jackson Scofield - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      I won’t disagree but a lot of ownership groups have fallen out of favor with their fanbases. Vergara tops that list obviously, but Kraft isn’t the only other culprit. A lot of Chicago fans are dissatisfied with Hauptman’s ownership, though criticism of his lack of spending is perhaps uncalled for since the Fire are higher than middle of the pack as far as salary is concerned. Toronto fans dislike MLSE, which unfortunately has a monopoly in the city, owning the Maple Leafs, Raptors, FC, Marlies, and closely aligned with the Rock and possibly close to buying the Argonauts, leaving only the Blue Jays outside of the group’s control (unless you count the Rush, which have a big following for an ultimate team, but still not big by any means, 2K was a league record). Think I’ve heard complaints from Colorado about Kroenke and of course, many New York fans were pretty mad about Red Bull buying the MetroStars.

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