From Philadelphia Union nemesis to making his last appearance in MLS in an Eastern Conference final, veteran defender Aurelien Collin has officially begun his career after soccer, announcing his retirement on Thursday.
Collin started in the Eastern Conference final against NYCFC and turned back the clock to the days when he was tormenting the Union as a star defender for Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls.
Though the French-born center back played sparingly in his final three seasons in the league — he appeared in just nine games in all competitions — he played a key behind the scenes role competing on the training pitch and helping mentor younger players.
One of his more memorable moments with the club was when he prematurely entered the pitch to celebrate the Union’s win that clinched the club’s first piece of hardware on Decision Day 2020 against the New England Revolution.
The Supporters’ Shield was the second of Collin’s career (he also won it with the Red Bulls in 2018) to go along with an MLS Cup trophy (2013) and U.S. Open Cup trophy he won with Sporting Kansas City. Collin and Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union in the semifinal at Subaru Park en route to the Open Cup win in 2012.
Collin finishes his MLS career with 226 appearances in all competitions across 11 seasons with SKC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City and the Union. Prior to coming to the U.S., he played for clubs in Scotland (Gretna), Greece (Panserraikos), Wales (Wrexham) and Portugal (Vitoria Setubal).
He joins Ilsinho as the second player from the Union’s 2021 roster to announce their retirement in 2022.