Walking around Talen Energy Stadium Sunday afternoon, there was a certain jersey number that stood out among the others. Some were from 2011, while others were from 2017. There were kids in small jerseys to adults in big jerseys. And even a pup or two. But the No. 7 was seen all around the pitch, and for good reason too.
Brian Carroll played his final MLS game Sunday, suiting up one last time as the Union battled Orlando City SC. Thursday, Carroll announced he would retire from MLS following the match against Orlando, pursuing a second love for financial planning once the boots were officially hung up. Saturday, Carroll partook in his final training session with the boys.
Sunday came and Carroll was a part of the gameday 18, something Jim Curtin announced at his weekly press conference on Thursday as well. Coming out to the pitch for warm-ups, he was greeted by a healthy amount of applause from the Union faithful. But that would be the quietest Talen Energy Stadium would be for Carroll, as when he proceeded out with his training bib on before the match, chants of "Thank You BC" were heard all throughout the stadium.
Before kickoff, the Union honored Carroll and his final game with a pre-match ceremony, complete with a video of members across MLS wishing him luck in his future endeavors. He also received a shadowbox with his jersey and captain's band from the club, as well as a few other gifts.
Carroll was on the bench for the first half, but then he received the loudest ovation of the match when he entered the game at the beginning of the second half.
Despite not having played MLS minutes all season, Carroll played the final 45 minutes of his career with no signs of rust.
Carroll's appearance was his 371st career appearance, fourth most in MLS history. His 45 minutes brought his career total to 30,821, which ranks sixth most in MLS history. He finished the match with 26-for-27 passing (96 percent accuracy), five recoveries and one tackle won.
Leading up to the game and even during the match, messages from all across the Union community poured in for Carroll, all wishing him well in life after soccer.
Following the match, Carroll spoke to the media one last time, and once again showing why he was beloved by the soccer community.