When Davy Arnaud announced his retirement from professional soccer on March 3, 2016 after making 351 MLS appearances with Sporting Kansas City, the Montreal Impact and D.C. United, the league lost one of its most charismatic midfielders. The Texas native was selected 50th overall by the Kansas City Wizards in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft and made his debut in the 1-0 win against Dallas on July 31, 2002.
Arnaud solidified himself as a starter for the Wizards in the 2004 season starting all 30 games for the club. Known throughout the league for his durability and persistent workrate, Arnaud finished his career with the sixth-most appearances in MLS history (351).
Saturday, August 13, United will celebrate his retirement pre-game prior to the match against the Portland Timbers.
The tenacious midfielder immediately won over Black-and-Red fans with his blue-collar style of play and fighting mentality when he made the transition to United in 2013. In two seasons with the Black-and-Red, Arnaud became a mainstay in the midfield with an innate ability to find key passes and contribute in the team’s build-up play. Arnaud had a reputation for his commitment to protecting the D.C. United backline and his fearless attitude that made him a torrid opponent to face.
“I always wore my heart on my sleeve and I wanted nothing more than to win for my club and teammates,” Arnaud said in a letter to fans announcing his retirement.
Throughout his 14-year career, Arnaud championed a winning mentality that gave him a competitive edge in the center of midfield. His desire for success reached a career pinnacle when he lifted the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with Kansas City in 2004. Arnaud’s insatiable desire to win also contributed to him being the 11th-most winningest player in MLS history (137 wins).
“He’s a true pioneer for this sport in this country,” said D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid. “I’m going to miss his grit, personality and strength on the field and I know he’s going to be a great coach and have a great career after soccer.”
Arnaud broke numerous records during his time in MLS, including the all-time record for most fouls suffered (746). After the former U.S. Men’s National Team player scored his final goal against Portland on May 3, 2014, he joined an elite list of only 43 players to reach the 50 goal milestone in MLS since 1996.
Though his days on the field are over, Arnaud continues to contribute to the club from the sidelines, motivating the locker room and staying after training to work with players on technical development. And as he transitions from player to coach, Arnaud remains committed to developing soccer in the U.S.
“I have seen the league grow from what it once was to what it is now and take pride in the fact that I got to be a part of it,” Arnaud said. “MLS is something we can all be proud of and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”