MLS- Real Salt Lake

MLS Notes: Williams retires, joins RSL staff; Fire keep Barouch and more

Andy Williams (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by/ISIphotos.com

Another longtime MLS standout is hanging up his cleats.

Real Salt Lake's Andy Williams announced his retirement Monday night, ending a productive 14-year playing career. The skillful Jamaican midfielder won't be straying far from the game at all, though, as he will join the Real Salt Lake techinical staff as a scout.

The 34-year-old Williams was the last remaining RSL original and retires as the club's all-time leader in games played with 189. He tallied 14 goals and 29 assists with RSL and helped the team to its MLS Cup title in 2009. He also won a Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup title as a member of the Chicago Fire in 2003.

Williams, who was RSL's first pick in the 2004 Expansion Draft, was out of contract with RSL at the end of the 2011 season. He was initially available for selection in the Re-Entry Draft, but that is no longer the case after his latest announcement.

Here are a few more notes from around MLS:


The Chicago Fire secured the full rights to one of their top young assets on Monday, announcing the purchase of forward Orr Barouch from Tigres UANL.

Barouch, 20, played on loan for the Fire last season after starring for the club in the preseason. An Israeli youth international, Barouch has drummed up interest overseas with his play in 2011, which included two league goals, five reserve league goals and three U.S. Open Cup goals for the Fire.


The New York Red Bulls added another academy player to the senior roster on Monday, inking St. John's standout defender Connor Lade to a Homegrown Player deal.

Lade, 22, played centerback at a high level for St. John's despite being undersized at 5-foot-5. He joins Giorgi Chirgadze, Juan Agudelo, Matt Kassel and Sacir Hot as players to make it from the Red Bulls academy to the senior squad.


The Montreal Impact added another one of its NASL players to the MLS roster on Monday, agreeing to terms with English midfielder Ian Westlake.

The 28-year-old Westlake joined Montreal in July and started all 13 games in which he played, scoring twice. A veteran of England's lower divisions prior to signing with the Impact in 2011, Westlake joins Hassoun Camara, Evan Bush and Sinisa Ubiparipovic as NASL Impact players to make the leap to MLS with the club.


What are some of your top Williams memories? Sad to see him retire? Like the signing for the Fire? Think Lade will turn into a solid pro? Happy to see Westlake make the jump from NASL to MLS with Montreal?

Share your thoughts below.

  • sciroccer

    It will be hard to go to games and see Andy playing, but I am happy he will still be around. Andy and his family are great people and glad to here that they will remain in our community. Good Luck Andy, we’ll see you around town!


  • sciroccer

    Opps! I meant “hard to go to games and NOT see him playing” I guess I should proof read first! Duh!!!


  • abc

    Like Quaranta, I can’t really understand why Williams is retiring. They’re both still good enough to be depth guys on the bench and veterans in the clubhouse. DC should have kept Quaranta at a lower salary, and RSL should have made Williams a player-coach.


  • run

    My claim to fame was being ‘megged by Andy Williams when my club team scrimmaged URI back in his college days. Best of luck in your new career.


  • deepm

    Quaranta decided to retire on his own terms. He felt he had played enough and wanted to do more in life. After all, he did start playing pro at age 16.


  • Scott

    That was my move! Playing soccer at night, in November in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.


  • Scott A

    I’m loving all the local talent being developed by NY.

    Almost as much as I’m loving the sight of a man on the lower end of a 32/33 dress shirt size wearing a 36/37 one in the photo above.


  • gigi

    haha but yeah i mean cherundolo is only an inch taller, and lade is actually a outside back, he just played cb due to the team needing him there. I never saw him play so i cant say much but theres hope.


  • Snare

    So sad to see Williams go, but I can feel a little bit better knowing at least he will stay with RSL in some way in the organization.


  • Snare

    great interview with Andy Williams announcing his retirement

    [audio src="http://espn.kall700sports.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Andy-Williams-12-5-11.mp3" /]


  • Martha

    Good luck to Williams. Entertaining player.

    Tigeres ripped the Fire off. He is slow and oafish. Usually hits the post or misses from point blank range. Receives the ball poorly. Not worth $100,000 pesos much less dollars. USL material.


  • Shark

    Got to know Andy back in 2005 when RSL first started out and became a friend….he and his family are pure class and as nice a folks as you will ever meet…been a tough time for him with this wife’s cancer fight…a good player and a better man…he will be missed on game day.

    RSL fans were blessed to have him as long as we did…:)


  • three11stu

    RSL GM stated that they would have loved to keep Andy for those exact reasons. However, due to the salary cap, RSL could not keep him. Rather than go somewhere else, he decided to retire and stay with the team as a coach. Now, if RSL was granted the same luxuries as NYRB and LA, maybe he would still be playing right now.


  • CMac

    He started a game in the middle of a summer afternoon a couple years ago in short sleeves, but came out after halftime in long. He said something about it just not feeling right.


  • Neruda

    Williams was a skillful player with deft touch with the ball at his feet. Great move to keep him as a coach. They could have him tutor players like Luis Gil who already has great ball control for his age. Williams is a classic and will be missed on the field.


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