Robbie Russell announces retirement, heads to Georgetown University Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program

D.C. United defender will retire after Sunday's match

Robbie Russell - 2013

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USA Today Sports Images

After a successful 13-year professional career in Major League Soccer and across Europe, veteran defender Robbie Russell announced his retirement today. The 33-year-old will now head to nearby and the internationally-famed Georgetown University’s Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program.

“It’s been one of those careers that if when I started I knew that was going to happen, I totally wouldn’t have expected it,” said Russell. “I’m very happy with my career – so, I’m just looking forward to going back to school, a little bit scared, but it’s really exciting and it’s a lot of fun. I love the guys in D.C. and they will always be a part of my soccer history.”

Russell joined the Black-and-Red in 2012 from Real Salt Lake, where he won an MLS Cup in 2009. Since joining the club, Russell has made 20 appearances (16 starts), tallying a goal and adding an assist in the dramatic 2012 MLS Cup playoff victory over the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Russell will also be making an appearance on Thursday at Amidon-Bowen Elementary for a United Reads Event.

“Robbie has had a wonderful career, and we as an organization were lucky to play a small part in it,” said D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “He has helped mold our young players and has left, in a short time, a big imprint on this club.”

“Robbie has had a lengthy and successful professional soccer career, and we are grateful for his contributions to our playoff run last season," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. "We wish him all the more continued success as he pursues his passion for medicine at Georgetown.”

Russell, who was part of the 2009 MLS Cup Champions Real Salt Lake, has made 98 Major League Soccer appearances (84 starts), tallying two goals and assisting on nine others. In six MLS seasons, the defender has logged over 7,000 minutes. Prior to making the move to MLS, Russell spent time with Icelandic Premier Division side Breidablik (2000), Norwegian Tippeligaen clubs Sogndal I.L. (2001-04) and Rosenborg BK (2004-06), and Danish Superligaen side Viborg FF (2006-08).