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NSC Minnesota Stars GK Joe Warren Retires

Joe Warren

From the front office of  the NSC Minnesota Stars.

MINNEAPOLIS,Minn. (JANUARY 27, 2011)

Chants of  “You’ll never beat Joe Warren” will no longer pour from the stands and beer garden at the National Sports Center Stadium. NSC Minnesota Stars goalkeeper Joe Warren announced his retirement Thursday after 13 seasons of professional soccer in his native Minnesota.

Warren played 12 seasons for the Minnesota Thunder before retiring after the
2007 season. He was a member of the Thunder’s 1999 A-League Championship
winning side. After his first retirement, he worked in the operations
department at the National Sports Center, prompting his return to the
game in 2010 when the NSC founded the Stars. Warren unexpectedly took
over the starting goalkeeper role after Louis Crayton’s season-ending
knee injury during the first half of the Stars’ first game last season.

“When I signed last year, my plan was to only play one more season,” Warren
said. “However, the 2010 season was extremely special for me, between
the group of guys I met in March and the playoff run at the end of the
season, it became a much more difficult decision to hang up the boots
for good when the season ended.”

Warren logged 2181 minutes for the Stars last year, posting a record of 10
wins, eight losses and four ties and recording a 0.99 goals against
average. In May, Warren stopped penalty kicks in three consecutive games
for the Stars, a feat both he and team staff said they’d never
experienced before. Beyond his stats, Stars Head Coach and Director of
Soccer Operations Manny Lagos said Warren’s experience and leadership
would be missed.

“Joe Warren had a great career prior to coming back and playing
professionally again, and he really brought along a young team last
year,” Lagos said. “As a Minneapolis native who played his whole career
here, Warren gave Minnesota soccer fans a career they should really be
proud of. He has big shoes to fill, both literally and figuratively.”

Warren’s first retirement came shortly after the birth of his first daughter,
Veronica. In 2010, he cited playing in front of her as one of his
reasons for returning to the field. He and his wife welcomed their
second daughter, Evelyn, during last season, an event that played
largely into his decision to retire for good.

“Something else happened last summer that dwarfed the successes on the field, and
that was the birth of my second daughter,” Warren said. “I am now in the
unique position of being able to stay home with Veronica and Evelyn
during the day and pass along my passion for the beautiful game on
evenings and weekends through the various clinics I run.”

In addition to those clinics, Warren said he’s looking forward to spending
summers with his family, but he readily admitted that he will miss
testing his competitive side day in and day out among friends from six
continents.

“When I look back at the scope of my career, the thing that makes me smile is
when I think of all guys I have had the chance to work with and call my
friends,” he said. “I have friends all over the world because of the
game I have been blessed with the talent to play professionally.
Although I will miss the competition and the training, what I will miss
most is the special bond I had with with the group of guys from last
year.”

Joe Warren photo courtesy Jeremy Olson  DigitalGopher.net

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