SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Harry Shipp today announced his retirement from professional soccer. The 28-year-old concludes a seven-year Major League Soccer career with Sounders FC, the Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire FC, making 164 career appearances (including postseason). Shipp, who won a 2019 MLS Cup championship with Seattle in his final professional season, will be pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“This was not an easy decision because of all the amazing people at the Sounders, but I am excited to take this next step in my life,” said Shipp. “I am grateful that I was I was able to live out my childhood dreams. I grew up going to MLS games, was part of an MLS Academy in its infancy, and then got the opportunity to play for three clubs all over the continent. I am also grateful that my last full season ended in an MLS championship with Seattle. Thank you to all the fans who committed time and money to allow me to kick a ball for a living. Thank you to all my teammates over the years. You gave me more cultural learning experiences than I ever could have imagined from a job. Thank you to all the support staff who help make a team and club actually function. You all work way harder than any of us players. Thank you to my family, especially my wife, for being incredibly supportive on this journey. Thanks to the people of Seattle for making this feel like home for the past four years. I look forward to coming back to games as a fan!”
Shipp started 41 of 64 appearances for Sounders FC after joining via trade following the 2016 season, helping the Rave Green to the 2019 MLS Cup title and a runner-up finish in 2017. He recorded 10 goals and seven assists in his time in Seattle, including five and three, respectively, last season. The Lake Forest, Illinois native also appeared in five postseason matches for Seattle, recording two assists.
“I want to thank Harry for his fantastic tenure with the Sounders. He helped us win a championship and was a consistent cog in our success,” said General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “He always had a positive attitude whatever role he was asked to play in our team and was a great pro. We will support him as he moves forward with his next career and we wish him the best of luck at Northwestern. We couldn’t be more proud of him for embracing his next challenge. He will be missed.”
Prior to his time in the Pacific Northwest, Shipp spent the 2016 campaign with Eastern Conference finalist Montreal Impact after being traded from Chicago, where he spent the 2014 and 2015 campaigns after signing as a Homegrown Player out of Notre Dame. Shipp burst onto the scene with a stellar rookie season in 2014, tallying seven goals and six assists in 33 appearances as an AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year finalist. He followed his impressive rookie season with a career-high eight assists in 2015. Shipp finishes his career with 22 goals and 24 assists in 157 MLS regular-season appearances.
“Harry has been a valuable asset to our club and helped us win a championship this past year. Since he arrived in Seattle, Harry has shown that he is a reliable player and a consummate professional. He worked hard as the union representative for our club, and was well liked in the locker room,” said Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “I’m happy for Harry to start a new chapter in his life. I know how hard it was to walk away from our club, and we will miss him both on and off the field.”
A four-year standout at Notre Dame, Shipp helped lead the Fighting Irish to the first national championship in program history during his senior season, where he was a NSCAA First Team All-American and a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist. Shipp totaled 84 appearances in four collegiate seasons, scoring 23 goals and recording 24 assists.
“While we are sad to see him go, we thank Harry for his contributions to the club for the past four years,” said VP of Soccer & Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “We wish him the best in these next chapters of his life, where we have no doubt he will find success.”
On top of his contributions on the pitch, Shipp served as Sounders FC’s MLS Player’s Union rep and helped negotiate the agreement for the league’s plan to return to play following the suspension due to COVID-19.
Major League Soccer announced the league's plan to restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. The tournament, which is being played without fans in attendance, provides a compelling way for MLS to resume its 25th season. Group stage matches count in the MLS regular season standings and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.