Mehdi Ballouchy announces his retirement



Mehdi Ballouchy announced his retirement from professional soccer today. He is the second New York City FC player to retire this week.

Ballouchy made 23 appearances over two seasons at NYCFC including four last season. He joined the team in the 2014 Expansion Draft and played more than 1200 minutes during the club’s first season. He also scored three goals and two assists that season. His last competitive appearance for City came in their U.S. Open Cup match last June.

“As a kid, I played soccer out of pure joy, and today, that remains exactly the same,” Ballouchy told “This game has taught me discipline, given me an education, and over 11 years as a professional, has offered me so much to be grateful for. As I hang up my boots, I want to thank this diverse and amazing sport for all the friends and memories it has given me. While I can’t predict what the future holds, one thing remains sure: I will always play soccer and I will play with just as much joy as I did during my childhood. Special thanks to all of my teammates and NYCFC fans – dreams do come true.”

Ballouchy was born in Morocco but moved to California when he was a teenager. While playing at Santa Clara University, he was named an All-American twice before drafted second overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2006 SuperDraft. Ballouchy was a finalist for Rookie of the Year that season but would be infamously traded the next year to the Colorado Rapids for Kyle Beckerman. Ballouchy would only score seven goals over the next four years while Beckerman led RSL to an MLS Cup.

Ballouchy would be traded to the New York Red Bulls in 2010 and was a regular in their 2011 squad. He was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012 but tore his ACL and missed most of the following season. He was selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2013 Re-Entry Draft and spent a season there before being chosen by NYCFC the following year.

“Mehdi’s experience of this league, as well as his passion and enthusiasm have made him a great servant to this club throughout the past two years,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “As one of the original squad members in our inaugural season, his place in the history of this club is assured and he’ll always be remembered fondly by all of us here as he ends his professional playing career. On top of his talents on the field, Mehdi is a humble, intelligent and thoughtful person and I’m sure everyone at the club will agree that it was a pleasure to work alongside him.”

“Whatever Mehdi chooses to do next, I’m certain he will be successful – he leaves with all of our very warmest wishes.”

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