In a move that will have many Crew fans feeling wistful yet breathing a sigh of relief, veteran defender Ezra Hendrickson announced his retirement today after 14 years of professional soccer. The journeyman center back, who hails from Layou, St. Vincent, spent time with New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, D.C. and Chivas USA before joining the Crew in April 2006. He was a team captain during the Crew's MLS Cup-winning 2008 campaign, during which he appeared in 13 regular season matches and one playoff contest. It was his third MLS Cup title after winning with Los Angeles in 2002 and D.C. in 2004.

Hendrickson, 37, was a valued locker room presence, helping to lead younger counterparts like Chad Marshall and Danny O'Rourke into maturity. After a long and prosperous MLS career, he seemed to have lost a step last season, so the timing of his retirement makes sense. I'd agree with General Manager Mark McCullers' assessment: “We valued the versatility, work ethic and veteran leadership he brought to our team and there is no question that they contributed to our success. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”