Taylor Kemp, D.C. United’s starting left back for three years who missed this season with injuries, announced his retirement Wednesday.
The former Maryland Terrapin underwent hernia surgery in September 2017 and, after struggling to return, had labrum hip surgery this summer. Neither he nor the team was optimistic about a recovery that would have allowed him to perform at peak level.
“Just want to take a quick second to let everyone know that I am retiring from soccer,” he wrote on social media. “I loved my time playing but know that it is time to move on. I am sad to leave the game that has been a part of my life for so long but am far more excited for what is to come.”
Kemp, 28, was traveling in Europe and unavailable for further comment.
A 2013 first-round draft pick, Kemp started 95 regular season matches (101 appearances) and posted three goals and 14 assists. He had six assists in both 2015 and ’16.
He was invited to U.S. national team training camp in January 2017. That year, Kemp played every minute of 22 D.C. starts before getting injured in early August.
With Kemp’s return in question last winter, United acquired Costa Rican Joseph Mora, who ended up starting 28 of 34 regular season matches. Kemp’s retirement will clear $140,000 from the payroll.
United is expected to make several roster decisions in the coming weeks, mostly involving contract options.