“This may come as a surprise to many, but I’m at a time in my life where it is best for me to move on from the game.”
And with that, Brandon Vincent, one of the most promising young players to play for the Chicago Fire in years, announced his retirement from professional soccer.
The news broke this morning when the 24-year-old defender took to Twitter to share his decision.
Family & friends, teammates, coaches & staff, supporters - thank you. #cf97 pic.twitter.com/wUeNpxL89Y— Brandon Vincent (@BrandonVincent) October 30, 2018
Vincent was the #4 overall selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, picked by the Fire after an impressive career at Stanford. In his junior and senior years, he was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year as well as NSCAA first team All-American.
His professional career began promisingly. After proving himself one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal 2016 season, Vincent had a breakout year in 2017 as the Fire returned to something resembling their glory years. With the Men In Red qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in five years and contending for the Supporters’ Shield for at least part of the season, Vincent, along with midfielder-turned-defender Matt Polster, formed half of what was hailed as the best fullback tandem in MLS.
While Vincent struggled somewhat in 2018 (along with the rest of the squad), some of that could be down to him being played out of position for long stretches of the season. (The “Brandon Vincent Is Not A Centerback” complaint became so widespread that we at Hot Time briefly considered making t-shirts.) It was clear that Vincent wasn’t set up for success this year.
For that reason, and many more besides, it’s not surprising that Vincent would decide that professional soccer isn’t working out for him. Disappointing, to be sure, but not especially surprising.
Best of luck to you, Brandon. Thank you for giving us something to cheer about for three seasons.