Twellman set to announce retirement

Taylor Twellman (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday at 1:30pm where he will announce his retirement.

Twellman has struggled with brain injuries that have forced him to miss the entire 2010 season, injuries that will cut short one of the best careers of any forward in MLS history.

Twellman, 30, helped guide the Revolution to four MLS Cup Final appearances, and finishes his career with 101 career MLS goals, as well as ten career playoff goals. The five-time MLS All-Star also made 30 appearances for the U.S. national team, scoring six goals.

What did you think of Twellman as a player? What was your favorite moment of his career?

Share your thoughts below.

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79 Responses to Twellman set to announce retirement

  1. Frankie Ballz says:

    This dude was just “awesome.”

  2. Ecualung says:

    Uh, when you put “awesome” inside quotation marks, we have no idea what you mean, really.

    My wife and I used to take our dogs to a kennel if we had to leave town, and one of the guys that worked there looked JUST like Taylor Twellman. So if the dogs were acting up and we wanted to jokingly threaten them, we’d say, “Behave or we’re taking you to see Taylor Twellman.” Kind of random, I know, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this headline.

  3. kpugs says:

    This is too bad. I never wanted him on the national team, but at the same time he’s an MLS all-time great.

    More importantly for me, no one ever took a ribbing with the humor and grace that Twellman did. This guy always had a wink and a smile for the fans, even when we were letting him have it.

    His McBride-like willingness to sacrifice his body in the name of effort was amazing. The plays he made while risking boots to the face were many, and impressive.

    It’s too bad he has to retire. I might not be his biggest fan but I have a hell of a lot of respect for him. Good luck to him.

  4. AJ says:

    Sad, but expected day for Revs fans. The guy hasn’t played in two years, but was incredible for the Revs while he was playing. He’s 5th all time in goals, but his goals per game average is far superior to the other guys in the MLS century club. He probably would have become the all-time leading scorer this year and then spent the next few seasons making the record unreachable, were it not for his most recent concussion.

  5. Steve C says:

    I wish him the best of luck in his retirement. Not one of my favorite players, but sad to see him have to cut his career short like this.

    Hopefully he can somehow convince ESPN to replace him in the booth. I’m not a Harkes hater, but his overwhelming love-fest w/ Beckham Sunday night was ridiculous.

  6. CJK says:

    I bet he resents the Revs for not letting him go to Preston North End when they wanted him. Career probably would have played out much differently. Sad.

  7. csroesler says:

    I agree with kpugs 100%

  8. Wm. says:

    I read on Wikipedia that he is donating his brain to science after death to help medicine better understand if concussions cause permanent harm the the brain.

    If that’s true I’m even more impressed with Twellman, who was already in my mind a first-class professional.

  9. isthatagoal says:

    this.

  10. afc says:

    Its sad but now he has a different calling. If he can help bring awareness about concussions to soccer that is great.

    The NFL/american football isn’t the only sport with this problem its just getting all the attention. Soccer is a rough sport despite what most Americans think. Hopefully Taylor can show people that but its sad that is has to end up this way.

  11. scott says:

    Hopefully his string of concussions and trauma to his head will not leave him with any lasting problems. I know this is a hot topic in the NFL, but it is something that the MLS should look into as well.

    as a st. louis, native i always looked forward to seeing him play.

  12. Jayboy says:

    Twellman was and is an all-time MLS great. He was an excellent goal-scorer and will certainly be missed by the Revs (although they’ve been without him for 2 years now). It’s too bad that they never could get over the hump and win the MLS cup!

  13. Johnny says:

    Im currently a high school soccer player and have always looked up to twellman as my inspiration as my position of forward. Your work rate and knack for scoring were amazing, and i hope to emulate that

  14. May the Revs staff receive the concussions they deserve…

  15. Rooch says:

    I remember TT being a good bit player in the buildup to the Germany WC, then he got left off the final roster. To make it worse, several of the nike campain ads had his goal in either a k-town friendly or one of the last qualifying matches as part of the highlight reel. As others have said, he was never my favorite player, but wish him well on his unfortunate retirement circumstances. Now who will Jimmy Conrad call out for wearing youth medium size overly tight jerseys?

  16. I wonder if he’ll pull a Brett Favre…

  17. Raymon says:

    So is the MLS working on this concussion issue? Is TT the tip of the iceberg, and there are many other less recognizable guys out there with similar injuries? This is a fundamental human issue that the league really needs to care about.

  18. Michael Vann says:

    Twellman was that guy you loved to hate. You hated him if he was on the opposing team simply because he was willing and able to doing anything he could to snag a goal–usually at the most inopportune time. But you watched in envy just wishing your team had him. Deep down you loved him. Twellman’s grittiness and selflessness has been missed the last few years; now it’s lost forever. Concussions are nothing to ignore and I’m proud Twellman will bring awareness to their side affects. He’s a perfect case study. It also sounds like he’ll given some opportunities in the studio. He’s a little raw but with his work effort he should learn the trade quickly.

  19. joe k says:

    twellman is not that much of an egomaniac.

  20. AJ says:

    I bet he doesn’t. He probably would have taken the same punch in the face at some point there that he took here. The guy has legend status for Revs fans and would have been that guy with the huge head and way too tight shirt with PNE.

  21. joe k says:

    calling his injuries “brain injuries” is arresting, but spot-on. even with all the media attention on NFL’s concussion problems, they don’t call them “brain injuries” — they call them “concussions” or “head injuries”, which are accurate, but also almost whitewash how devastating they can be

  22. AJ says:

    Here’s an ESPN article lead by Twellman’s donation and speaking further on the program. If Twellman isn’t the first male soccer player to donate, he’s among the first few to do so from the looks of things. Its mostly NFL, NHL, and WWE guys thus far. Seems like a pretty cool program and some very necessary research.

    link to sports.espn.go.com

  23. RevvedUp says:

    One of the best to ever wear the Revs shirt (too tight, of course, but still…). Played hard, played honest, played with joy. What more can you ask?

  24. EAscott says:

    Agreed AJ. Probably the best pure finisher the league has ever had.

    Really sad to to see him go, I can’t help but think, with the shallow forward pool we have now, this would have been the time for a healthy Taylor Twellman to finally push his way to the top of the US forward pool…

  25. giaco says:

    In the words of Curly Bill Brocius “well, bye.”

  26. Paul says:

    Serious question here. Do y’all think the constant heading of the ball by, some more then others, players takes it’s toll on the brain/head?

  27. Eric K says:

    My favorite all-time Revs player. The guy played bigger than he was – wasn’t afraid to get stuck in near the net, tracked back into the middle and fought in the air, always an inspiration and example. 101 goals in 174 games. It’s a shame that every time he got a shot with the national team, he seemed to either get hurt or sick. I can’t say this announcement is unexpected – he’s been battling these symptoms for a couple years now. Now we’ll see what they can do with that $400k of cap space.

  28. einar says:

    too bad his career was stopped short honestly. this must be frustrating. great forward and could of certainly led in all time MLS goals by now

  29. John says:

    Didn’t Alecko eskandarian retire beacuse of head injuries as well? This is not a new issue. Soccer is a contact sport and an unlucky few will have their career cut short with injuries.

  30. Brian S. says:

    This is a shame. Has Alecko also retired yet? I can’t remember but I do know that they are both suffering from the same issues. It’s a shame because these are both class act guys that were a joy to watch because of their heart on the field

  31. Modibo says:

    Yep, I agree 100% about him being the player you loved to hate. As a Chicago fan I will always resent that his bicycle kick goal in the East final in 2007 wasn’t called a dangerous play with two Fire players in position to head the ball away (Soumare and – Thorrington? Can’t remember).

    But I KNEW that it wouldn’t be called, and as a fan of beautiful goals that was the right call. It was a brilliant strike, and one of the most dramatic ones I can recall from MLS.

    We’d be looking at it differently if his foot had connected with one of those heads, though.

  32. PetedeLA says:

    OK. When is MLS going to start having farewell games? (Well, in this case, it may be too dangerous for TT, but perhaps MLS can throw a Twellman’s picks team vs. the Revs and donate the proceeds to charity.)

    This guy was awesome.

    At the very least, can someone make a farewell video with his highlights? Or is there one already?

    Great player with the right attitude about playing. It’s a shame his career was cut so short.

  33. JS says:

    +1…Great Post…my thoughts exactly

  34. Ecualung says:

    50 years of good karma to the first person to make an awesome YouTube video of all of TT’s goals

  35. JP says:

    Twellman always played with tremendous heart. I believe his style of play was a determinant factor on the many injuries he suffered. Bad luck and genetics being contributors as well…

    He’ll be missed.

  36. Probably. But fortunately these guys are athletes; some of them don’t have any brains to start out with. ;)

    Kidding… kidding…

  37. adam says:

    Tremendous player, and a great credit to the Maryland soccer program for the couple years he spent there as it rose to the prominence it enjoys today. Always hate to see a great leave the game, especially if it is due to injuries.

  38. Josh D says:

    Our Brian Namoff was the same…

  39. wilyboy says:

    He was frustrating in that he couldn’t create chances for himself at the highest level, but still invaluable to MLS. He’s also one of the many concussion victims in the league, which perhaps speaks to the fearlessness of many professionals.

  40. Ben Lieberman says:

    He was remarkably quick, active, and dangerous in the box, and I wish he’d gotten the chance to play 2006 when the strikers we did take did not exactly distinguish themselves.

  41. Raymon says:

    Enjoy, from YT…..video quality is poor, but good enough to player quality. link to youtube.com

  42. Raymon says:

    See above. 12 minutes of highlights. Since all I did was find it (not make it), can I get 30 minutes of that good karma?

  43. STX81 says:

    genetics? He’s still suffering from concussion he received two years ago.

    (skip to 0:55) link to youtube.com

  44. AL17 says:

    Wow!!!

    A few good players have retired this season, MLS is taking one hell of a hit.

  45. We will miss him.

    New England has not been the same without him.

    A great forward to watch play.

  46. SteveJones says:

    Really sad he has to retire. Injuries cut his great career too short. He should have been able to play into his mid 30′s.

  47. tommy c says:

    Its pretty sad. His contributions were under-recognized. Even by this column, but I guess if you’re not a NY Red Bull player…

    (SBI-Tommy, this wasn’t a column, just an update on the news that he is retiring. Settle down.)

  48. Sean says:

    I really wished he would have gotten the chance to go to Europe and fulfill his immense potential. Before I got into soccer hardcore and was only a casual fan, I only knew of three names: Beckham, Landon Donovan, and Taylor Twellman.

    I wish him all the best in the future.

  49. ofcrob218 says:

    I’ve been a fan of Twellman since he stepped foot on the University Of Maryland campus. I have seen a lot of talent come through Maryland and the ACC and he was one of the all-time greats. Twellman and his teams of the late 90′s helped Maryland become the national powerhouse it is today. As a DC fan, I have always followed his career with the Revs and hated that he struggled to return from his injuries. Good luck in retirement Twellman, you will be missed!

  50. Telling the Truth says:

    Taylor Twellman’s story serves to remind us all that concussions are a very real concern for all sports, soccer included.

    I hope to see him continue to serve American soccer, whether it be through broadcasting or coaching.

  51. EA says:

    Josh Gros as well.

  52. EA says:

    When will the Revs’ team shop put all the smedium Twellman jerseys on sale?

    I’d like one, for posterity’s sake.

  53. Brian says:

    Taylor was just a classy professional who always gave his all every game. You NEVER had to worry about him bringing his lunch pail. He was snake bit throughout his career but always took the high road. His getting sick during the WC qualifying, his injury that he has dealt with now for 2 years…etc. I wish him all the best for a full recovery and a healthy life.

  54. joe says:

    he was a player that i looked up to and that i studied because he was so smart. Him and Pat Noonan back in the day were by far my favorites.

  55. CJ says:

    No way. Simply heading a soccer ball is not necessarily dangerous. The forehead is the hardest bone in the body. But getting cheap elbows to the head when going for a ball in flight can be lethal.

    Headbanging is worse for your brain than playing soccer.

  56. Seriously? says:

    yeah, there was a good article on him and soccer concussions in general by Grant Wahl last week. Mentions a few players who’ve agreed to give up their brains for that purpose. It also said that he knew he had a concussion right after getting hit in the head, but played another 8 games. Doesn’t say if he ever told the training staff, perhaps he did, perhaps he didn’t.

  57. WeatherManNX01 says:

    One of the best players to never win an MLS Cup. He deserved one.

    He was the first player I learned about when I first started watching soccer in 2006, and has since become my favorite. A great player, and a great person. I hope to see him in a booth or on a sideline next season.

    A career that ended much too soon…

  58. jonk says:

    I assume it was an obscure ode to one of Twellman’s commentating stints this season where he kept referring to things as “awesome” and Ives playfully chided him about it on Twitter.

  59. Jim D. says:

    As a DCU fan, I loved to hate him, but that has a lot to do with how effective he could be against us, and how timely some of his goals were (2006 playoffs, for instance). Much respect to TT, and best wishes for where life takes him.

  60. Joe says:

    My girlfriend and I gave Twellman and Ralston a ride to Wendy’s one night after the bar in Salt Lake. They couldn’t get a taxi and Wendy’s was about to close. He was a total class act! Bought me a spicey chicken combo and when I brought up the fact that Arenas screwed him by picking Ching for the 06′ World Cup squad (it had just been announced), he didn’t have a bad word to say.

  61. ian says:

    Ross Paule

  62. JoeW says:

    To me, that’s the one stain (if you could call it that) on his MLS career. This is a guy who was a true competitor–not the dirtbag that Ruiz was. He got results, he played hard, everyone respected him for his (as Nowak would say) “honest effort.” A heckuva a teammate. And, oh yeah, a heckuva goal scorer. He originally played for a pittance and never dogged it or did stuff like DeRo did at the end of this season or half-stepped in an effort to get pay increases. And when he had a chance to go overseas, the Revs killed it–which is a shame.

    To hate to see any athlete leave the game under such circumstances (not just injury but one that has long-term quality of life implications).

  63. JoeW says:

    Read about what he’s going through. Twellman says that his eyes sometimes “lie” (he gives an example of watching the NBA finals and he “saw” the two opposing coaches on the same side of the court despite that they were actually seated on opposite sides. Headaches just from walking or going up stairs. This isn’t about a guy who’s pulling something melodramatic and might tease us and then come back if he’s bored. This is about a guy who may not qualify for a driver’s license. A guy who can sometimes be in danger just walking up or down stairs. A guy who has trouble seeing straight. He can’t even get cleared to practice with the Revs, let alone make the subs bench.

  64. JoeW says:

    Nope. It’s the contact of head-to-head. Or knee to head (Eskandarian’s worst concussion). Or fist to head. And then once you become susceptible, a tossed ball that hits the back of the head (Gros) or jogging (Namoff) can set it off again.

    I’m not aware of any original concussion caused by heading. It’s usually something else much more traumatic. But once it’s happened (and not handled well), all sorts of things can trigger a concussion syndrome.

  65. Brian says:

    Did the Revs kill it? Or did MLS kill it? Pretty sure it’s MLS that does that

  66. jpc says:

    I always liked Twellman. He was a smart player who moved well (although not fast) and was a clinical finisher from anywhere in the box. He was never gonna be a star for the Nat’s, as I’m not sure he was physically equipped to play at the top level, but he was a terrific player who I hope will get into coaching

  67. Brian says:

    Holy crap and he still scored! You can even see him tell Shalrie Joseph that “I got a concussion”

  68. Brian says:

    So was the fist to the face from Sean Cronin the first concussion he got in MLS? Or were there prior ones?

  69. Ivannomad says:

    Who will my wife try to insult now with the yell, “Twinkle Toes don’t like hoes?”

    I dont really know what it meant either; perhaps a homosexual innuendo?

    As a Dallas fan we liked him and disliked him at the same time.

  70. Andrew says:

    I will always remember his disgusting bicycle kick goal of the year.

  71. Wm. says:

    Was my post erased? I wrote in response to Seriously? with a link to a Grant Wahl article he made reference to. Is that not allowed?

  72. over there says:

    I fell in love with MLS watching the Revs and Twellman. Great player, who sadly could have been even greater. I’d say I’ll miss him, but I think we already have for the last 2 years.

  73. over there says:

    My ex-wife called him Twinkle Toes too. She was a Revs fan. I don’t get it either.

  74. SilverRey says:

    I’m still very bummed that TT didn’t make the 2006WC squad. He was our leading scorer in the campaign to the Cup and always stepped it up in big games. Our one goal for the tournament says we probably should have had a true goal scorer on the team.

  75. mike says:

    got my picture taken with him back in 98 i think. he was a young no-name then. Crazy how time flies…

  76. MiamiFCduros says:

    So long and thanks for all the shots….

  77. Monty says:

    As a Revs fan, this is both good news and bad news. Bad news in that we’re losing the best player the Revs have ever had, and IMHO the best pure goal scorer the league has ever seen. The good news … he can now move on, and have no reason to suffer an 8th concussion.

    Good luck TT … thanks for the wonderful memories.