After having his contract option declined by the New England Revolution, Bucks County native Steve Neumann has announced his retirement from professional soccer via Twitter.
After a lot of reflection I've decided to retire from professional soccer. Thanks to everyone who supported me and made me who I am today— Steve Neumann (@Steve_Neumann5) December 22, 2016
Neumann grew up in New Hope, Pennsylvania before eventually taking his game to Georgetown University, where he scored 41 career goals (including a hat trick in the College Cup semifinal in 2012). He also had 34 assists while also spending three summers with Union PDL affiliate Reading United.
The former Hoya was picked up with the fourth overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by New England after passing on a Generation adidas offer a year earlier to return to campus for his senior season and complete his business degree. J.J. Koval, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 SuperDraft also announced his retirement this week.
Since entering the league, Neumann’s minutes have dropped year after year under head coach Jay Heaps. After making 20 appearances off the bench for the Revs in his rookie season, he saw the field just 13 times over the course of the next two years.
There was speculation that Neumann could return home to suit up for the Union this year. Given his versatility and lack of wear-and-tear, he was looked at as a low-risk option for the blue-and-gold. I even got excited about the prospect of him coming here.
Neumann failed to record a goal or assist in his 744 minutes of MLS action, but with him out of favor in New England, many thought a return to familiarity was just what he needed.
kinda slow on the uptake over here, but I'd like to see Philly add Pedro Ribeiro and Steve Neumann to Bethlehem Steel in 2017— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) November 30, 2016
New England has let go of Steve Neumann. I wonder if some phones in Chester might ring shortly.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) November 28, 2016
While a move to Philly was always purely speculative, his retirement comes as a shock to nearly everyone. Neumann was one of the more popular MLS names made available this off-season, and plenty of teams were rumored to be interested in landing his signature.
Wow… Bet there are plenty of teams interested is signing #SteveNeumann— Brian Dunseth (@BrianDunseth) November 28, 2016
At age 25, Neumann’s retirement seems out of the ordinary for a professional soccer player. Seeing someone hang up his boots with his prime still ahead of him may come as somewhat of a shock, but it is an unfortunate reality in this country.
Regardless of the situation, we wish Steve the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.