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A.J. Soares forced to retire due to head injury


A.J. Soares has been forced to call a premature end to his playing career.

Soares announced his retirement on Thursday morning, as the AGF Aarhus defender steps away from the game due to the effects of a head injury. The 27-year-old centerback suffered the injury just several matches into his time with the Danish club, but, following the advice of several specialists, is forced to reluctantly step away from the game.

“Because of the head injury has several specialists advised me to stop my career for my health in the long run,” Soares said. “I want to thank AGF for the treatment I have received in the short time I’ve been at the club.”

Soares joined the Danish club  prior to the start of the 2016 season. In total, he made six appearances while scoring a goal in his debut for the club.

The defender’s best moments, though, came with the New England Revolution. The Revs drafted the Cal product with the sixth overall pick in the 2011 MLS Draft, and Soares quickly became a key part of the Revs defense, Starting in the heart of the Revs defense, Soares helped lead the club to the 2014 MLS Cup final, where the Revs fell to the Galaxy. Soares then joined Norwegian club Viking for two years, making 32 appearances for the club before heading to Denmark.

“It is in every way a sad case – above all for A. J., and we are all very concerned by the situation,” said AGF Aaarhus sport chief¬†Jens Andersson. “But when it comes to your health, you should not compromise on anything or take the slightest chance. We all agree that it is the right decision, he stops, although it obviously hurts that it happens in such an unfortunate background.

“A. J. has been a great acquaintance. He has some strong personal qualities, and I am sure that he will be successful with the new challenges he throws himself on. At AGF’s behalf, I would like to thank him for the effort and wish him the best of luck.”


  1. What does it say that the soccer players are ending careers due to head injuries and the football players are not?

    Must be the football players are tougher. God help them.

      • Chris Borland retired due to concerns about CTE. Anthony Davis had multiple concussions and retired, in part, as a result.

    • I don’t think it says much of anything.

      Injuries, even involving the head, aren’t identical or have the same resulting affect for person X, as they do for person Y.

      Furthermore, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that soccer players actually sustain more actual head trauma than football players in some cases due to the direct impact of soccer balls (or head to head collisions) to the skull. Taylor Twellman is a good resource on the subject and sport-related head injuries.

    • it says you don’t pay attention to the nfl – because it is rampant over there!

      don’t really care about that tho.. this is a bummer. glad to see this guy really went for it in his short career.

      • A sizable portion of head injuries in football have nothing to do with the helmet (aside from providing a false sense of safety – which is another issue in itself). Most trauma to the brain is from the violent impact and sudden stoppage of the body, with the brain being displaced momentarily within the skull.

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