Whitecaps backup striker Robert Earnshaw retires

 

 
 
 
 
Vancouver Whitecaps forward Robert Earnshaw (left) and Seattle Sounders defender Tyrone Mears watch as a long pass bounces away from them during the second half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Seattle. Earnshaw announced his retirement as a player on Thursday.
 

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Robert Earnshaw (left) and Seattle Sounders defender Tyrone Mears watch as a long pass bounces away from them during the second half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Seattle. Earnshaw announced his retirement as a player on Thursday.

Photograph by: Jennifer Buchanan, AP

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Whitecaps backup striker Robert Earnshaw retires

The Canadian Press

Vancouver Whitecaps striker Robert Earnshaw announced his retirement on Thursday.

The former Welsh international played 18 professional seasons, scoring 220 goals in 520 games for clubs in England, Scotland, Israel, Canada and the United States.

Earnshaw added 16 goals in 59 appearances for Wales and is the only player to record a hat trick in every professional league in England, including the FA Cup and League Cup, and for his country.

The 34-year-old will remain in Vancouver as the head coach Whitecaps' under-14 team, and as the club's strikers coach.

"I'm excited and ready to move on to the next stage of my life," Earnshaw said in a release. "It was important for me to retire as a player on my own terms and the opportunity to join Vancouver's coaching staff solidified my decision."

Earnshaw spent one season with the Whitecaps after signing as a free agent last March and scored a 90th-minute winner in his debut against the Portland Timbers just three days later.

But he was a fringe player for most of the campaign and didn't score again until the finale against the Houston Dynamo.

"I had the pleasure of playing with (Earnshaw) at both the club and country level and last year as his coach," said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. "He was a model player throughout his career."

He finishes his Major League Soccer career with 13 goals in 41 appearances with Toronto, Chicago and Vancouver.

Born in Zambia, Earnshaw moved to Wales when he was nine and scored against Germany in his senior national team debut in May 2002.

"Football has been a big part of my life since I can remember," he added. "It's been an honour to play for a living and I am fortunate to be able to continue in the sport that I love."

 
 
 
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Vancouver Whitecaps forward Robert Earnshaw (left) and Seattle Sounders defender Tyrone Mears watch as a long pass bounces away from them during the second half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Seattle. Earnshaw announced his retirement as a player on Thursday.
 

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Robert Earnshaw (left) and Seattle Sounders defender Tyrone Mears watch as a long pass bounces away from them during the second half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Seattle. Earnshaw announced his retirement as a player on Thursday.

Photograph by: Jennifer Buchanan, AP

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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