Darrius Barnes: “These have been the best nine years of my life to say the least.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
Cosmos defender Darrius Barnes retired from professional soccer Friday.
The 30-year-old veteran played the past North American Soccer League season with New York.
“Dreams definitely do come true!” Barnes said on Instagram. “Never would have thought a little country boy from Raleigh (Knightdale), N.C. would make it this far. I have truly been blessed by the best! It is with great passion, excitement, fulfillment and enjoyment that I announce my retirement from professional soccer.”
Barnes joined the Cosmos last season, helping shore up a defense that needed to be quickly rebuilt in wake of the team getting a late start to the season.
He had played eight seasons in Major League Soccer, all with the New England Revolution. Selected by the Revs in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft, the 6-1, 175-lb. Barnes could play across the backline, whether it was outside or center back. That made him a versatile player.
“These have been the best nine years of my life to say the least,” Barnes wrote. “This game has brought me so much job since I started playing as a kid 25 years ago.
“I have experienced the high of highs and the low of lows that come with playing this beautiful game. Through it all, I always competed at the highest level I could and laid it all out on the line for my teammates.
“This game has introduced me to some of the best friends in life and gave me the opportunity to play against some of the world’s best competitors, which I will cherish.”
Barnes was signed by the Cosmos only days prior to the team’s season opener. He wound up playing at center back without one training session.
The former Duke University standout played and started 13 games over 1,121 minutes for the Cosmos, who lost to the San Francisco Deltas in the NASL championship game.