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Berhalter retiring after 18-year career



One of the more decorated American defenders of all-time is hanging up his boots.

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter announced his retirement on Wednesday, effective after the end of the 2011 season. Over the course of his 18-year professional career, Berhalter appeared in two World Cups for the United States while playing in professional leagues in England, Germany, Holland and the United States. 

Since signing with the Galaxy in 2009, Berhalter has been the leader of the Galaxy's revitalzied back line an became a player-coach in January. However, the 38-year-old also battled injury issues over his last two seasons in Los Angeles and has been out since picking up a foot injury in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Alajuelense in the CONCACAF Champions League on August 28th. 

"I am grateful for all of the experiences that soccer has given me throughout my career," Berhalter said in a team-issued press release. "I am proud to have been able to play for my country at the highest level as well as to play for all of the clubs that I have. I hope that I represented them well through hard work, dedication and my love for the game.

"This was not an easy decision for me to make, but I feel that the timing is right for me to close this chapter of my career and begin to focus on the next stage as I look to continue my career in coaching."

During his time with the Galaxy, the celebral Berhalter was instrumental in developing the Galaxy's backline into one of the strongest in MLS as well as providing leadership for young defenders Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin. 

"I have had the pleasure of working with Gregg, first with the national team and now for the last three years with the Galaxy, and he has played a pivotal role in the success that we have had in that time,"Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. "The combination of his ability, work ethic, leadership and professionalism has helped him become the player that he is and we will miss his presence on the field next season."

In addition to his club exploits, Berhalter made 44 appearances for the national team and was involved in one of the most memorable moments of U.S. Soccer history, when his shot in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals was saved off the line by the arm of current Toronto FC Designated Player and German international Torsten Frings. No handball was called on the play, and the United States went on to fall, 1-0, instead of potentially moving on to the semifinals. 

Berhalter will be honored by the Galaxy during Sunday's SuperClasico matchup against Chivas USA. 


What moments stick out from Berhalter's career for you? Where do you rank his career among U.S. defenders all-time?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Considering he was responsible for the good, bad & ugly of player personnel – I’d hope they’d have some form of improvement considering he rates the players.

    He has maintained he doesn’t want to remain on the bench and wants to return the front office, from everything I recall reading.

  2. I never saw GB play abroad and never rated him as a Nat. That’s not to say he didn’t have a good game here and there. It looked to me like he did really well for the LAG. But all due respect to every player who wears the red white and blue. Congrats on 18 years and best of luck coaching.

  3. If memory serves, Donovan had an amazing “sprint-off” for lack of a better word vs Kahn in that game which didn’t make it to those highlights. Both players ran to a ball in the midfield, Donovan barely got there first, chipped it over the German keeper (somewhere around the middle fo the field mind you), and after a seemingly interminable long period of time, a German player managed to run it down and cleared it off the line, saving a goal.

    I’m not sure how that didn’t make the video to be honest….

  4. Eddie Pope and Gregg Berhalter are two guys who were underrated throughout most of their careers. Good job for the Tar Heel boys representing in a quiet way, never seeking the spotlight.

  5. That was a heartbreaking way to bounce out of the ’02 WC, but let’s take it easy on killing Frings. That’s the ref’s fault for not calling that.

  6. No one at all. Don’t know how he’d play as a full manager just yet, but as a striker coach his experience would be invaluable. As long as he shows up with bruises and/or bloodied up it’s a win/win.

  7. If Torsten Frings wasn’t a cheater Berhalter would have had one of the most important goals in US history. Oh, what could have been…

  8. If by some chance you read this blog: thanks for everything, Gregg. If I ever see Torsten Frings in a bar I’ll dump a beer on his head a run.

  9. Berhalter was a good player and a great professional.

    Here’s to hoping he’s been able to mentor Omar Gonzalez over the last few years…

  10. He and Tony Sanneh played out of their minds in the 2002 World Cup. Agoof’s blunders aside, the US backline was awesome in that tournament thanks to guys like Berhalter.


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