MONTREAL – Forward Eduardo Sebrango announced his retirement from professional soccer on Thursday, following a 14-year professional career in both first and second division soccer in North America, including eight seasons with the Montreal Impact.
The Canadian citizen, originally from Cuba, played seven games in 2012. He joined the Impact for MLS on February 21, following a successful trial with the club during preseason training camp.
“I’m happy and comfortable with my decision,” said Sebrango, 39, the oldest player in MLS. “I’m satisfied with my whole career and my accomplishments. I’m ending a career as a player but it’s the beginning of a new one. I’m thankful towards the Montreal Impact for giving me my first chance and for trusting in me for MLS. I have enjoyed every minute I played in the first division. This experience in MLS and the opportunity to play with star players like Alessandro Nesta, Nelson Rivas, Matteo Ferrari and Marco Di Vaio was the icing on the cake.”
“We want to thank Eddie for his services with the club over all these years,” said Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. “Again this year, he handled himself in the most professional manner. His everyday preparation and commitment to the club and training was exemplary and it’s great to hear from players like Nesta and Di Vaio on how they respect him. In the end, it’s because of all these reasons that he has been able to play until the age of 40. He will always remain a role model for any young athlete. On a personal note, I’ve played with and coached him, and he is the most professional and human person I’ve ever seen. We will now discuss how to work out a future for him with us.”
Sebrango is one of the most successful players in the history of second division soccer in North America, winning five championships, two with the Impact in 2004 and 2009, and two with Vancouver in 2006 and 2008, as well as one with the Rochester Rhinos in 2000.
He currently ranks second place all-time in North American second division scoring, with a total of 104 goals, 31 assists for 239 points in 270 games and 18,430 minutes of play.
Sebrango played with the Impact between the 2002 and 2005, and the 2009 to 2011 seasons. With the Impact, he registered 51 goals and 11 assists for 112 points, in 149 regular season games. He is currently ranked second place all-time in team history for most goals and points, behind Mauro Biello, current assistant coach of the team.
In his first season with Montreal in 2002, Sebrango scored 18 goals and won the Giuseppe Saputo trophy as the team's MVP.
In 2009, Sebrango scored three goals in two matches during the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against Mexican club Santos Laguna, scoring twice in front of 55,571 supporters at the Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2009.
Sebrango first retired on April 18, 2011 and joined the Academy coaching staff, but returned to the pitch later that year, on June 21.
On the International scene, he scored 16 goals in 24 games for the Cuban National Team between 1992 and 1998. He was named Cuban player of the year in 1997, and took part in the Gold Cup tournament and World Cup qualifying games in 1998.