Torsten Frings, Toronto FC’s captain  has announced his retirement after 18 seasons as professional soccer player.


As we reported last night, the probable has now become a reality.


“During pre-season we discovered that my recovery would take longer than expected. I always want to do what’s best for the team and that is why I have decided to step away,” Frings said in a statement Tuesday ahead of a 10:30 am club news conference. “I really enjoyed my time in Toronto and playing for Toronto FC. I wish the club all the best this season and hopefully they can continue to embrace the winning spirit that I brought to the team.”

The 36-year-old former German international was attempting to return from hip surgery that cut short his MLS season last September. He made only one pre-season appearance as a substitute earlier this month.


Frings played just 33 MLS games in his first two seasons with Toronto, scoring two goals.


The first questions about his future started to arise when  team president Kevin Payne said the team may have to buy out a contract to ease its “salary cap crunch” for the upcoming season.

Frings became expendable with the signing of Julio Cesar, a Brazilian veteran and  ready-made defensive midfield replacement.  His expensive contract and slow recovery from off-season surgery sealed Frings’ fate.


“Everyone is sorry that Torsten will be unable to lead our team this year but the injury he had often requires a lengthy period of rehab, and that is the case here,” Payne said in a statement. “We appreciate Torsten’s commitment to Toronto FC and are pleased he has agreed to work with us, particularly in Europe, on future projects. We part as the best of friends and wish him nothing but the best.”


Toronto opens their MLS regular season on March 2nd in Vancouver against the WhiteCaps.


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