CHICAGO (Feb. 4, 2015) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Wednesday that veteran defender Gonzalo Segares has retired from professional soccer. The decision brings an end to a 10-year professional playing career that saw Segares begin and end his career with the Chicago Fire. He now moves to the sidelines where the former Costa Rican international will serve as a club Ambassador and Academy coach. The Club will announce at a later date plans to honor his legendary career.
"Today is a very sad day for me, as I am announcing my retirement from professional soccer. It has been an incredible ride for me, filled with many good memories and amazing moments that I will never forget,” said Segares. “This game has given me the honor of representing my country, my club and to make my family proud. I leave the sport today knowing that I left it all in the field for them.”
“To Andrew and the Fire organization, thank you for letting me fulfill my dreams and allowing me to represent this extraordinary institution. I am excited to now begin a new challenge with the Fire.”
Segares was the Fire’s third round selection (35th overall) in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft after a four-year collegiate career at Virginia Commonwealth University. Segares played 231 MLS Regular Season games over ten seasons for the Men in Red, scoring 11 goals and adding 14 assists. The 2007 Chicago Fire Defender of the Year, Segares made 13 postseason appearances for the Fire, scoring the insurance goal in the second leg of the 3-0 win over the New England Revolution Nov. 6, 2008.
WATCH: Segares' Path from Saprissa to Chicago Fire (from 2013)
“Gonzalo is a player who wore the Fire badge with pride every time he stepped into the field,” said Fire owner Andrew Hauptman. “For the past 10 years, he played with passion, grit and determination and was always a force for the Club as well as a tremendous ambassador off the field. I look forward to having him continue on as a member of the Fire family and thank him for his meaningful accomplishments.”
Having amassed 264 competitive appearances for the Men in Red, the veteran defender became just the seventh player in club history to surpass the 200 mark with his appearance in a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact on September 15, 2012.
Segares joined Cypriot club Apollon Limassol on a free transfer in January 2010, where he made 12 appearances, helping Limassol to a third place finish in the 2009-10 Cypriot First Division table before returning to the Fire in August that year.
The San Jose, Costa Rica native made his international debut in an international friendly against Honduras on Sept. 9, 2007 and earned 19 total caps for los Ticos.