Unprecedented moves from Chicago are opening up more and more questions to the soccer community. In the past week we’ve seen a player with no apparent injuries, decent quality to make a starting eleven, and even national team exposure, simply retire from soccer at the ripe, young age of 24. To compound your confusion already, another member of the Chicago Fire has retired at the age of 25. Before you go questioning who they are, what their motives are, and so on, check out the homework I’ve already done for you below.
This first player was to retire this week was Brandon Vincent. Vincent took to Twitter to publicly announce his retirement from the Fire with this statement:
Vincent says all the right things but nothing that truly indicates what the real issue was. On paper everything looks fine. Vincent collected 85 club caps and 1 USA international cap to his name among his few years in the MLS which are both nothing to scoff at. As of 2018 he had a guaranteed salary of $144,250. Word in the Twitter world indicates that Dean was interested in law school and that he even admitted when he began in the MLS that he didn’t expect to play more than 3-5 years. You might think this is just a one off case that happened out of the blue until...
View this post on Instagram
Saw this picture and decide that it was time to try the @NFL The weight room has been great. Well this is it, announcing my retirement and it’s tough. Thank you to my family and friends for the past 5 years and I owe you everything. Thank you to the fans that have supported me, love you all. #realworld sorry didn’t have a lot of game photos... freeing up the salary cap #yam
Barely two days after Vincent’s retirement post on October 30, his now former teammate Christian Dean announced his retirement via Instagram today, November 1. Dean, 25, didn't have quite as prolific of a career as Vincent. Dean had 17 senior caps through four years in MLS and zero international caps. His guaranteed salary of $93,125 was certainly on the lower end of the spectrum but still respectable in the “real world.” Dean’s story isn’t as clear and I’ve read that injuries may have been hampering his career and hindering his growth.
Conclusion: Both Vincent and Dean certainly could’ve remained in the MLS if they wanted but both opted out. Until I see a source that is concrete or straight from either player I’d consider everything to be rumor at this point. But it begs the question, what are the odds that two fully capable players aged 25 or under from the same team retire in the same week by choice?
What’s your theory?