Philadelphia Union will pay tribute to the decorated career of veteran Chris Albright before Saturday’s match against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park (3 p.m., NBC Sports). Albright, a winner of three MLS Cups, a three-time MLS All-Star and a FIFA World Cup veteran, plans to retire at the end of the 2013 season.
“I am extremely lucky to have played in MLS for the past 15 years, for five exceptional organizations,” said Albright. “The game itself has afforded me opportunities and experiences that I would not have had otherwise and I'm forever grateful. Most importantly, I'd like to thank my wife Leah, and my parents John and Patti for their continuous love and support. The men that I have had the good fortune of calling coaches and teammates have truly shaped my career and I'm especially honored to have been able to end it with my hometown club, Philadelphia Union”
Philadelphia Union will honor Albright in an on-field presentation before Saturday’s match, which will include a video shown on the PPL Park video board celebrating the 15-year career of the MLS veteran.
“Looking at Chris’ whole career, it’s pretty impressive,” Union Team Manager John Hackworth said. “I’ve been glad to have him on our team and I think it’s fantastic he will end his career in MLS, in Philadelphia, in front of his family and friends. We’re certainly going to do everything we can to honor him the right way, and he deserves it. I have a ton of respect for him and what he’s done, both for the club and for me personally.”
Throughout his career in the U.S., the Philadelphia-native has suited up for five MLS clubs (D.C. United 1999-2001, Los Angeles Galaxy 2002-‘07, New England Revolution 2008-‘09, New York Red Bulls 2010-‘11, Philadelphia Union 2012-‘13), where he has appeared in 235 matches and registered 11 goals and 22 assists. Albright, who won MLS Cups with D.C. United (1999) and the LA Galaxy (2002, 2005), earned MLS Best XI honors in 2005 and was selected to the MLS All-Star team in three consecutive seasons (2004-2006) as a member of the Galaxy.
Internationally, Albright earned 22 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and was a member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup team in Germany. In 1999, he made his first international appearance in friendly match against Jamaica in Kingston as a 22 year old, where he scored an equalizing goal with his first touch on the ball to give the U.S. a 2-2 draw. He was also a member of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team in Sydney for the 2000 Summer Olympics, playing in all six matches and scoring two goals to help lead the U.S. to a medal round for the first time.
The Union player attended Virginia for two seasons (1997-‘98), leading his squad to the 1997 ACC Tournament championship match and receiving NSCAA first-team All-America honors in 1998. In total, Albright scored 31 goals and added 20 assists in 49 games played with the school.
Albright returned home when he signed with the Philadelphia Union in February of 2012. He has made 10 appearances for the club over the past two years.