Jochen Graf: “It’s been an incredible journey. I’m overwhelmed with love and gratitude for every minute.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
Memphis 901 FC forward Jochen Graf, a former Cosmos, announced his retirement Friday.
Graf, who signed with the National Premier Soccer League team in January, was traded to the USL Championship club April 25.
His final game as a professional player will be against defending USL Cup champion Louisville City FC at AutoZonePark in Memphis Saturday night, the expansion team’s last game of the season. Memphis failed to reach the playoffs.
“Tomorrow night will be the last night of my career,” Graf said on Twitter. “It’s been an incredible journey. I’m overwhelmed with love and gratitude for every minute. For those of you I’ll see tomorrow night at AZP, let’s close this season the right way. From the bottom of my heart. … #THANKYOU.”
Graf, who turns 30 Nov. 15, has played for several teams in the United States — Rochester Rhinos, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Reno 1868. He also performed in Europe for TSV Hertha Walheim, Lidköpings FK, Carlstad United BK and Oskarshamns AIK.
“Today, after seven incredible years, I’m announcing my retirement from professional soccer,” Graf said. “I need to thank so many people. My family, friends, past and present teammates, coaches, and front office employees and my agent. The list would go on and on, that’s how fortunate I’ve been. I truly don’t have the words to express my gratitude. If you could see me writing this then maybe you’d be able to understand as my eyes fill with tears. They aren’t all sad, though. I’m tearing up now because of the memories and friendships that have come from my time as a soccer player. And they will stay with me for the rest of my life. I feel so blessed to have them.”