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Houston Dynamo defender Eric Brunner announces retirement

Houston Dynamo defender Eric Brunner today announced his retirement from professional soccer after seven seasons in MLS with Columbus, Portland and Houston.

Brunner, 28, appeared in 111 career MLS games including playoffs. The Dublin, Ohio native spent two seasons with the Dynamo and was a key part of the Dynamo’s run to the 2013 Eastern Conference Championship, starting all five games as the Dynamo defeated the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals before falling to Sporting Kansas City.

“I want to thank the Houston Dynamo organization for making me a part of the family,” Brunner said. “Thank you to all my teammates and coaches who I spent my seven years with. I learned a lot and made many great memories, relationships and friendships. I will be rooting for the Dynamo in the future and rooting for my friends on the field. Finally, thank you to the fans for the support over the years and making me feel at home.”

The Ohio State University product was a mainstay for the Columbus Crew when the club won the 2009 Supporters’ Shield, earning Crew Newcomer of the Year honors after 25 appearances in his first full MLS season.

“I would like to thank Eric for his contributions to the club over the last two seasons,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. “I appreciate his professionalism, both on and off the field. I’d like to wish him all the best in his future endeavors as he moves on to the next phase of his life.”

Brunner was selected by the Portland Timbers in the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft and led the club in minutes (2,795) in its inaugural MLS season while setting career highs in appearances (32), starts (31) and goals (3).  

In college, Brunner was captain for his hometown Buckeyes and led Ohio State to the 2007 NCAA College Cup Final and earned NSCAA All-America first team and College Cup All-Tournament Team honors.