Taylor Twellman, one of the greatest soccer players to participate in Major League Soccer, announced his retirement from the game at only 30 years of age citing ongoing issues from a concussion sustained in 2008.
Twellman, who was born in Apple Valley, Minnesota, is 5th on the all-time scoring list for MLS, scored his 100th and 101st goals in the league on June 7, 2009. He had had sustained a serious head injury 10 months earlier and had only been back for two games before scoring those two goals. Eventually the injury would cause him to step back and try to rehab.
“I think until you get a serious injury and are out of the game for a while you take it for granted,” Twellman told IMS in July of 2009. “You take it for granted being able to play a sport you love and make a lot of money doing it and being successful at it. Until it’s taken away from you… Right now I have my days where I struggle and I’m not even able to go for a run.”
“Growing up, (I always heard) ‘Give ‘em hell, you never know when it’s your last game,” Twellman said the press conference today to announce his retirement. “I sure as hell didn’t know New York last year was going to be my last game.”
“For me, the biggest compliment I can pay him is that in all my time in MLS, he has been the purest and best goal scorer in the league, without doubt,” said New England head coach Steve Nicol. “And I’m proud that he was playing for me.”
Twellman and his father Tim, who played for the Minnesota Kicks, conducted a lively interview with IMS in 2009 during the Schwan’s USA Cup. Twellman spoke then about his father’s words to always “Give ‘em hell, you never know when it’s your last game.” Tim Twellman explained that former Minnesota Kicks coach Freddie Goodwin is the one who originally used that quote.
“He said that when we were 10 years old,” explained Twellman in the IMS interview. “My brother and I used to look at each other and think, what the heck is he talking about? We’ve got another game 2 hours after this game. It just really makes you appreciate the moment. But it also humbles you.”
Please click here for the entire IMS interview with Taylor and his father Tim.