His legs and a once blistering shot clearly gone as Galaxy fans have seen this season, defender Greg Vanney called time on a 13-year professional career today, announcing his retirement before the game.
Vanney spent 10 years in MLS, including seven in two stints for the Galaxy, and played another three seasons in France.
“While it is a bittersweet feeling to be ending my career today, I’m happy that I am able to do so with the Galaxy where I started my career,” he said.
He also played 37 times with the U.S. National Team.
But the post-Vanney era clearly can’t come soon enough for Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena – Vanney doesn’t get the start in the last game of his career; Julian Valentin, making his MLS debut, is preferred in central defense.
Josh Wicks in back in goal, with Steve Cronin on the bench, behind a defense that also sees Mike Randolph make his
first second start under Arena, with defender Sean Franklin (Galaxy defender of the year, it was announced before the game) the third of three defenders listed on the team sheet.
The midfield: Chris Klein, Alvaro Pires, David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis.
Up front: Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon.
Vanney is, at least, on the bench.
The Galaxy award winners announced this morning includes Donovan, who needs one goal and one assist to become the first MLS player ever with 20 goals and 10 assists, not surprisingly named MVP.
The L.A. Riot Squad named Chris Klein as their player of the year award and will present him with it at game’s end.
Dallas has Jeff Cunningham and Kenny Cooper up front, who is one behind Donovan in the MLS scoring race.