Nat Borchers retires after 14-year career

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35-year-old defender Nat Borchers has announced his retirement after a 14-year career that was spent almost entirely in the United States.

The Arizona-born bearded one came through Colorado as a youth, and spent two seasons with the Colorado Rapids before trying his luck in Norway. He returned to the United States after a 46 appearances for Norweigan side Odd Grenland and went on to spend seven years with Real Salt Lake and another two with Portland.

Borchers won MLS Cups in both 2009 and 2015, most recently partnering with English defender Liam Ridgewell to lead Portland to its first MLS Cup. He made 340 league appearances in the United States, one of just 14 players in MLS history to do so, starting 339 of those 340 appearances.

Borchers ruptured his Achillies tendon in July of last season, ending his campaign and likely leading to his decision to hang ’em up.

“I have given the game everything and will step away extremely grateful to have played 14 professional seasons. While this decision was tremendously difficult, I am proud of my contribution to this chapter of Major League Soccer,” Borchers said in a statement. “I played for three well-respected MLS clubs, experienced playing abroad, and made some incredible relationships. To be a professional athlete is a privilege, but I didn’t get here alone. Thank you to my family, friends, coaches, teammates, and fans for their support throughout my career. I am excited for the future challenges that await.”

The Timbers announced they will honor Borchers during a March league game.