By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the most accomplished goalkeepers in MLS history is calling it a career.
New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Kevin Hartman is officially hanging up his cleats and gloves after spending an illustrious 17-year career in MLS, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday. The 39-year-old veteran who was not used in regular season action in 2013 ends his playing days as the league’s all-time leader in wins (180) for a goalkeeper and cleansheets (111).
Hartman’s distinguished career includes several other accolades. He was the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999 and won a pair of U.S. Open Cups, two MLS Cups, and three Supporters’ Shield trophies.
Beginning his career with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1997, Hartman also played for the Kansas City Wizards and FC Dallas before joining the Red Bulls as a free agent this past season. He also earned five caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Nicknamed ‘El Gato’ for his catlike reaction saves, Hartman said earlier this year that he signed with the Red Bulls as a way to continue his playing career while also being able to somewhat get into the coaching side of the game.
Hartman did not play in an official match for a New York team that won the Supporters’ Shield in 2013, but he did play 30 minutes for the club in a 2-2 friendly vs. Olympique Lyon in July. Hartman replaced incumbent Luis Robles in that match in the 32nd minute before making way for rookie Santiago Castano a half hour later.
What do you think of Hartman’s retirement? How do you look back on his career? What is your most memorable Hartman moment?
Share your thoughts below.