New England Revolution defender Jay Heaps has decided to end his playing career.
The 33-year old called his retirement yesterday after 11 years in MLS, almost all of them with the Revs, and according to club operator Robert K. Kraft, he will be sorely missed.
“Jay Heaps has been the heart and soul of the Revolution during his time with us,” Kraft said. “Not only has he been an outstanding and consistent performer on the field, he’s been a true champion off the field in the community, as well. We will miss him running out on the field each weekend, but wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
Heaps appeared 314 times in league matches which ranks eighth on the all-time appearances list in MLS and his 243 matches in a Revs shirt is the club’s record.
New England coach Steve Nicol said it will be very different next season without the four-time USA international in his team.
“I can’t imagine writing out a team sheet next year without Jay’s name on it,” Nicol said. “As a coach, you can’t ask for a better all-around person than Jay.
“He leaves everything he has on the field every game and every training session, and then goes back in the locker room and is a stand-out leader. You want younger players to see the example Jay has set and follow it. He’s had an outstanding career for us, and we’ll miss his presence around the team.”