Todd Dunivant’s Retirement And Legacy

Spread the love

(Editorial) – 13 year MLS veteran Todd Dunivant has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2015 season. The Los Angeles Galaxy left back has been plagued by various injuries over the past two years at the age of 34.

He made only seven league appearances in 2014. While providing veteran leadership this year, he has only three appearances this season due to a foot injury. He’s just not able to stay healthy for an entire MLS season anymore. Furthermore, he’s clearly a back up left back to Robbie Rogers now.

Dunivant was selected 6th overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft by the San Jose Earthquakes. He started most of the season on the way to an MLS Cup Championship and went on to play with the Galaxy, Red Bulls New York, and Toronto FC before returning to Los Angeles in 2009. He has two national team caps.

Dunivant’s career peaked in 2011 when he started 32 games for the LA Galaxy on the way to a dominant season. The team went on to win the Supporter’s Shield and MLS Cup with Dunivant a major part of that success, making the MLS Best XI of that year.

What His Legacy Will Be:

Dunivant was no doubt well liked by players and fans. Landon Donovan, his current teammates, and coaches had nothing but praise for him.

One thing they all emphasized was Dunivant being winner. The 34-year-old was never a star player but he was always a contributor. He played a part in why his teams won everywhere he played. “I was always to be a guy who didn’t get the headlines,” said Dunivant. “If you’re not talking about me, you’re also not talking about the guy I’m marking. A lot of what I did was addition by subtraction.”

A Stanford graduate, he has a high Soccer IQ and was able to outplay faster and more skilled players. The Derrick Fisher of this LA Galaxy dynasty, he was a role player. But more so, he was a winner.

Dunivant has won the U.S. Open Cup and two Supporter’s Shields. He is one of only three players in MLS history with 5 MLS Cup rings. An MLS Cup this year would tie him with Donovan for the most all time with six.

A fan favorite at times, Dunivant will be remembered as a champion, a yeoman defender, and a class act.

What His Departure Means For The LA Galaxy:

This team is going to be just fine at left back. Dunivant said it himself in his announcement: “It became pretty clear to me that my body has given all it can.”

He has only played in 10 league matches the past two years. Even when he is fit, Rogers has cemented himself as the starting left back. The club even signed Dave Romney from LA Galaxy II earlier this year. Romney is a versitile defender and can back up Rogers as needed.

Furthermore, Dunivant has a base salary of $185,000 for 2015. For a veteran starting left back, that’s fine. For a back up who has had injury issues, that’s not a good use of cap space.

Todd Dunivant’s retirement will provide some cap relief and will give a young Romney more playing opportunity. The 22-year-old can develop and the Galaxy do not even need to go get another left back. They can use that money in another area of need.

His veteran leadership will be a loss, but this is an experienced team with plenty of world class players and vets. There are a number of players who’ve grown up in this organization who are ready to step into a more significant leadership role; Omar Gonzalez comes to mind.

What’s Next For Todd:

Dunivant said in his announcement “I’m open to things but I want to stay in the game. This game has given me so much and to leave it wouldn’t be true to who I am.”

What’s next for him is entirely his choice. He has an economics degree from Stanford. He could easily go back to school if he wanted to. With his education and experience as a player, he could try out sports business in some aspect. Maybe be an agent or work in a front office.

If he is interested, there’s probably a a front office, academy coach, etc. position waiting for him with the LA Galaxy. That door will probably be open for awhile if he wants to take some time away from the game first.