Fire defender Friedrich announces retirement

Fire defender Friedrich announces retirement

MLS- Chicago Fire

Fire defender Friedrich announces retirement

ArneFriedrich (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Chicago Fire defender Arne Friedrich announced his retirement from professional soccer on Sunday with a note on his website.

The 34-year-old former German international was unable to play a single game this season due to back issues, which have unfortunately ended his career. In the note on his website, Friedrich cites the injuries in his back that forced him to hang up the boots.

“After much consideration and consultation with my doctors and physical therapists I have decided to finish my professional soccer career,” Friedrich wrote. “The last couple of weeks and month I have been suffering from increasing back pain. With two herniated discs in my lower back, I am no longer able to fulfill the demands of a professional soccer player. For this reason, I have asked the Chicago Fire to terminate my contract.”

Friedrich started 22 of 23 matches for the Fire last season, anchoring a defense and earning high praise as the team’s best defender from a number of local media outlets. Prior to his time in Chicago, Friedrich played for VFL Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin, where he appeared more than 230 times for the blue and whites, Arminia Bielefeld, and SC Verl, where he began his career.

In addition to his club career, Friedrich also played 81 times for the German National Team, including starting 13 of 14 matches at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup’s for his nation. He also was a starter in the 2004 and 2008 European Championships.

What do you make of this news? Did you see it coming? Who do you see Chicago replacing Friedrich with this summer?

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