Crew midfielder Gaven announces retirement

Columbus, OH ( - The Columbus Crew announced Thursday that midfielder Eddie Gaven has retired from professional soccer after 11 seasons in Major League Soccer.

The 27-year-old calls time on a distinguished playing career that includes more than 278 appearances, 51 goals and 37 assists in MLS regular-season competition that spans stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and the Crew.

"I would like to thank my teammates, the Crew organization and the fans for all their support over the years," said Gaven. "I will always cherish the memories, especially winning MLS Cup in 2008. I am incredibly blessed to have been a professional soccer player and am extremely grateful to MLS and the Crew for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream.

"For personal reasons, I will be retiring from professional soccer. I realize this may come as a surprise, but it is something I have been contemplating for some time, and after discussing it thoroughly with my family, I know in my heart that now is the right time to start the next chapter in my life. I wish the Crew nothing but the best moving forward. Thank you."

Gaven was selected by the MetroStars in 2003 as a teenager with the 12th overall pick in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. At 16 years, 232 days, he became the youngest player in MetroStars history and the second youngest in MLS history to debut in a June 14, 2003 match against the Chicago Fire.

He made the switch to Columbus in 2006 and went on to become a regular in the Crew midfield, helping the club to consecutive Supporters' Shield titles in 2008 and 2009, along with the 2008 MLS Cup title against his former club.