So Long Taylor Twellman: The Retirement of a New England StarBy: Robbie | January 18th, 2011
The 2010 season did not bring many good things for the New England Revolution. With the combination of the squad’s dismal 6th place finish in the Eastern Conference (and a horrendous away record), Shalrie Joseph’s off field troubles, and a patch-work starting eleven of too many unproven players, fans are quite understandably looking to put the blinders on and focus on the upcoming season, especially with the 2011 SuperDraft having just passed and the Marco Materazzi rumor mill still churning.
But before all the reviews of 2010 and all the projections of 2011, one piece of saddening, yet nostalgia-inducing, news must be properly addressed—the retirement of Rev’s legend Taylor Twellman. Twellman had a stellar career for the Revolution, with 101 career strikes he is the 5th leading scorer of all time in Major League Soccer, and he did it in only 174 matches (all with NE of course). He was a recognizable face in an often all too anonymous league. But his career was also marked by devastating injury and missed opportunities to meet his full potential. A series of head injuries hampered his decade-long career and virtually kept him on the sidelines since the 2008 season, forcing his retirement at only thirty years old. For all he did in MLS, he was never able to achieve the great heights one would expect of him on the international level. He played sporadically for the USMNT and while injury was certainly a culprit, he failed to impress Bruce Arena in the qualifiers leading up to the 2006 World Cup while fully fit.
With Twellman’s departure there will be perhaps a bigger hole in the hearts of the fans than in the squad itself. Though he was an instrumental player when healthy, his absence from the squad over the last few years has at least prepared the Revolution for this moment (though they have still failed to make effective signings). With one long-tenured star gone, we now hold dearly to Joseph and Matt Reis till their times come and look hopefully to the future for the rise of our next great on field stalwart and off field icon—perhaps he will come in the form of home-grown teenager Diego Fagundez.
To watch Twellman’s farewell press conference, click here.