Houston Dynamo defender and captain Wade Barrett announced his retirement and accepted a position as an assistant coach for the club, it was announced today. Barrett made the announcement at an afternoon press conference, attended by his teammates and local media.
Barrett, 33, retires with the third-highest totals in games, starts, and minutes in Dynamo history. He twice lifted the MLS Cup championship trophy for Houston, in 2006 and 2007, and was also part of the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2001 MLS Cup championship and 2005 Supporters’ Shield-winning teams. He said he was looking forward to joining a staff with familiar faces in head coach Dominic Kinnear, assistant coach John Spencer, and goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley.
“I am going to be a sponge and learn as much as I can from this coaching staff,” Barrett said. “I’m sure I’ll have my own ideas along the way, but this is a great opportunity for me to soak in as much knowledge as they can pass on and take it down the road and see what that it turns into for me.”
The Virginia Beach, Virginia native attended the College of William & Mary and completed a B.A. in economics via correspondence in his early days as a professional with the San Jose Clash. Barrett remained in San Jose as the franchise became the Earthquakes and won the 2001 MLS Cup title, then played with Aarhus (Denmark) and Fredrikstad (Norway) from 2002-04.
He rejoined the Earthquakes in 2005, Dominic Kinnear’s second year as head coach, as club captain, and helped them capture the Supporters’ Shield. Prior to the 2006 season, Barrett moved to Houston along with the rest of the players and team staff to become the Dynamo. He assisted on the first goal in team history and played every league and playoff game except one in the Dynamo’s back-to-back championship seasons of 2006 and 2007. He was slowed by injuries slightly in 2008 and more significantly in 2009.
“On behalf of the Dynamo organization, I would like to thank Wade for his services as a player, both on and off the field,” Dynamo Chief Operating Officer Chris Canetti said. “His contributions and leadership have been critical to our success. We welcome him to the coaching staff and wish him well in the next phase of his soccer career.”
Capped twice for the United States national team, Barrett was an MLS All-Star and named to the MLS Best XI in 2002. He finishes his Dynamo career with 140 games, 139 starts, and 12,399 minutes played in all competitions. He appeared in 99 career regular season and 11 career playoff games for Houston, including the 2009 Western Conference final, his last competitive game. One of the fittest players in league history, Barrett wore the captain’s armband for 138 of his 140 all-time appearances with Houston.
The Houston Dynamo will open their 2010 season on Saturday, March 27 with a road game against FC Dallas. The Dynamo home opener will be on Thursday, April 1, against defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake at 8 p.m.
The Dynamo will host the 2010 Major League Soccer All-Star Game this summer at Reliant Stadium, and tickets are available in Dynamo season ticket packages, on sale now at HoustonDynamo.com or by calling (713) 276-7500.
The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer franchise that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first four seasons and represented the United States in four consecutive regional championships. For more information, log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.