HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Veljko Paunovic, #16 of the Philadelphia Union, responds to Corey Ashe's, #26 of the Houston Dynamo, taunts in the second leg of the playoffs on November 3, 2011 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Veljko Paunovic released an open letter to Philadelphia Union fans through Twitter. The Brotherly Game asked the now retired player if the letter could be republished here, upon the site. With Paunovic's blessing, here's the full text of his letter:
I want to thank the great Union family for welcoming me from the very first day that I came here. I've been so many places around the world and I have never felt as happy as I have been here.
It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from soccer due to family reasons but I will never forget the Union fans and the atmosphere at PPL Park every game.
I have proudly worn the Union Jersey wherever we have played throughout the country and I will always feel like a Union "soldier" wherever I am in the world.
I also wanted to give a special thanks to my teammates, coaching staff, CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Diego Gutierrez, and all the employees that work so hard for all of us.
I especially would like to thank Peter Nowak, who gave me this opportunity. His knowledge of soccer and great ability to lead the team have taught me so much.
I am deeply grateful to everyone associated with Philadelphia Union.
Serb of Ben