Thursday Kickoff: Roberto Carlos retires, Sporting Kansas City ties Stoke and more

Thursday Kickoff: Roberto Carlos retires, Sporting Kansas City ties Stoke and more

MLS- Sporting Kansas City

Thursday Kickoff: Roberto Carlos retires, Sporting Kansas City ties Stoke and more

RobertoCarlos (Getty Images)

One of Brazil's all-time greats has called it a career.

Left back Roberto Carlos, 39, announced his retirement, officially putting an end to a playing career that spanned back to 1991. 

Roberto Carlos, who had not played since March, was most recently with high-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, and he will reportedly stay there in a technical-staff capacity. He rose to prominence at Real Madrid, where he played from 1996-2007 and was a part of Brazil's 2002 World Cup championship team. He also was a member of three UEFA Champions League-winning sides with Madrid, before spending time with Fenerbahce and Corinthians ahead of his move to Russia.

Roberto Carlos was famous for his free kicks, most notably this swerving one against France in 1997. According to reports, a testimonial between Real Madrid and Anzhi is in the works to serve as his farewell match.

Here are a few more stories to get your Thursday going:

SPORTING KC TIES STOKE

Mid-summer friendly results usually carry very little significance, but for one Sporting Kansas City player, Wednesday night's friendly against Stoke City was as memorable as it gets.

Homegrown Player Kyle Miller headed home his first-career professional goal in second-half stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Sporting KC against Stoke in a friendly at Livestrong Sporting Park Wednesday night. Miller's goal came minutes after Stoke went ahead on an 84th-minute penalty kick by Michael Tonge.

Sporting KC trotted out a reserve-laden lineup, with Teal Bunbury the exception. Stoke, which is still waiting for Geoff Cameron's work permit appeal hearing before integrating the U.S. national team centerback into its lineup, had a mostly full-strength starting XI for the match.

TIGRES, METAPAN WIN CCL OPENERS

Tigres UANL had no problem integrating into the CONCACAF Champions League, winning their first-ever match in the tournament 4-0 over Nicaraguan club Real Esteli.

Edno Cunha, Fernando Navarro, Taufic Guarch and Jose Rivas each scored in the comprehensive rout, as the home side persevered to take a commanding lead atop its group.

Metapan got their CCL campaign off to a strong start as well, getting a hat trick from Nicolas Munoz to defeat the 10-man Puerto Rico Islanders 3-1 in El Salvador. Metapan and Puerto Rico are in the same group as the Los Angeles Galaxy, who will face the Salvadoran winners on Aug. 23 at the Home Depot Center.

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Where does Roberto Carlos rank for you among all-time left backs? What's your favorite memory from his career? What did you think of Sporting KC's rally? Do you think that the Galaxy will have trouble getting out of their CCL group?

Share your thoughts below.

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