The 2013 Chicago Fire team will be without veteran defender Cory Gibbs after he officially announced his retirement today
It would seem that Cory's season ending injury that he suffered early last season was too much to come back from. I think we can all agree that Gibbs was a great teammate and a great leader. Unfortunately his career was cut short more prematurely than any of us would have liked, but Cory has a nice 12 year professional career to put to his name.
This also will effect what the team will likely do for depth for the back line this offseason. While it would appear Jalil Anibaba will continue to be deployed at RB, with Cory out of the picture there isn't much behind Arne and Austin. While they both hopefully stay healthy all of next season, we must address the depth issue sooner rather than later. Cory's retirement just made this offseaosn even more interesting than it already was in terms of acquiring players.
All of us here at HTIOT would like to thank Cory for what he did in his time with the Fire. We certainly wish him the best of luck in the future. Here is the full press release from the Fire:
Chicago Fire Defender Cory Gibbs Announces Retirement
Veteran U.S. international brings an end to 12-year professional career
CHICAGO, Ill. (Nov. 26, 2012) - The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Monday that defender Cory Gibbs has retired from professional soccer. The club's 2011 Defender of the Year and a U.S. Men's National Team veteran, brings an end to a 12-year professional soccer career that saw him compete at the top levels in Europe prior to re-joining MLS in 2008.
"We want to thank Cory for everything he has done as a member of the Fire family," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "Cory's veteran leadership and the experience that he brought to our locker room was invaluable. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."
"It was a tough decision," said Gibbs. "After discussing it with the medical staff, my wife and family, it is the right time for me to step away from the playing field. I've done everything in my power to return to the game, however, my latest injury has made it too difficult to play again. It was an honor to represent the United States and the Fire, along with all of the clubs I played with throughout my career. I would also like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, the fans and my family, especially my wife, for all of their support along this journey. I am truly excited to transition into a new venture in my career. Coaching, working for a club and scouting are my greatest desires. I will be as committed off the pitch as when I was playing."
A four-year standout at Brown University, Gibbs led the Bears to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight his senior season in which he was named the 2000 Ivy League Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. Gibbs was selected in the fourth round of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by the Miami Fusion but elected to go abroad and signed with FC St. Pauli of the German Bundesliga.
After three seasons with St. Pauli where he appeared in 60 matches and scored four goals, Gibbs returned to the United States where he was allocated to the then Dallas Burn. During the 2004 season, Gibbs started 21 games for the Burn, registering one assist over 1,850 minutes.
On Jan. 20, 2005 Gibbs transferred to Dutch club Feyenoord. While with the 14-time Eredivisie champions, Gibbs made 15 appearances and scored one goal. Due to injury, he was then loaned to ADO Den Haag Jan. 2006, where he appeared in five matches. In May 2006 Gibbs signed a pre-contract agreement with English Premier League club Charlton Athletic.
Gibbs earned his first international cap for the United States on June 8, 2003 against New Zealand, and went on to play a total of 19 games for the Yanks. Gibbs was named to the roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup but missed the tournament after suffering a knee injury in the tune-up match against Morocco May 23, 2006.
Gibbs returned to MLS in 2008 and was allocated to the Colorado Rapids. In two seasons with the Rapids, Gibbs appeared in 29 matches and was named the club's 2008 Defender of the Year.
Prior to the 2010 season, Gibbs was traded to the New England Revolution where he made 25 appearances and wore the captain's armband in eight matches.
The Fire selected Gibbs in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Dec. 15, 2010. In 2011 Gibbs made 26 appearances for the Men in Red, scoring three goals and tallying one assist over 2,203 minutes. Gibbs demonstrated his aerial strength when he headed home a Marco Pappa free kick against Manchester United to give the Fire a 1-0 lead July 23.
Gibbs started the first three matches of the 2012 season at center back before suffering a right meniscus injury in training April 4. He underwent surgery April 10 and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
In his two seasons with the Fire, Gibbs served as a mentor for young defenders Jalil Anibaba, who led the Fire with 32 starts this season, and Austin Berry, who was recently named the 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year.