By Ryan Fleming
There are times in a player’s career where he/she has to fight through to obtain goals that one wants to achieve. For Taylor Twellman put all the rumors of his retirement to bed by officially retiring Wednesday afternoon, and now the former New England Revolution forward will no longer battle through pain to obtain his goals.
Well, don’t worry now Mr. Twellman, you’ve scored enough in your day.
“Taylor Twellman has been the face of the Revolution since joining us in 2002,” Revs owner Robert Kraft said at a press conference early Wednesday afternoon. “His heart, grit and determination have been a model for other players, and he’s played a tremendous role in establishing a new standard of success and consistency for not only our team, but also around the league.”
Not only was the Minneapolis, MN. native the face of the Revs, he was also a responsible idol children could look up to while getting into soccer.
Back in 2002, the 22-year-old kid played the game with flair, with a certain drive that really portrayed how he simply loved to play the game. He adored the game so much, he played with a broken foot and through a concussion.
Scoring one of the most remarkable goals in MLS history, pushing the Revs to the 2007 MLS Cup Final, Twellman showed what he was all about – pushing himself to the limit. It was that fearless quality that also changed his life forever.
On Aug. 30th, 2008 against LA Galaxy, Typical Twellman, without second thought, leaped in goalkeeper Steve Cronin’s way, heading the ball into the net, while absorbing the Cronin’s fist in an attempt to parry the ball away. Twellman suffering from a concussion, played the final eight games of the season before succumbing to concussion-like symptoms.
On May 29, 2009 Twellman returned to action, this time coming on as a sub, only to suffer another whack in the head – this time from D.C. United keeper, Josh Wicks. In what would be his final game, Twellman scored two goals in a 4-0 romp of New York.
Spending the last year in a broadcast booth, both Twellman and his fans would both admit that he is more valuable on the field, but that possibility is kaput. The all-time Revs leading scorer with 101 goals in 174 games, will be missed, but won’t be forgotten.
“We will always be indebted to him for his years of entertaining fans as a great goal scorer and as a passionate ambassador for the League and the sport of soccer in America,” said MLS Commissioner, Don Garber.
What Twellman might not realize is that he, without any direct contact or without forming any in-person relationships, pushed kids to play the sport. Those kids are now growing up and are watching the stars now, hoping they will be as successful as Twellman.
In his debt, we are.
Ryan Fleming can be reached at email@example.com.