Black & Gold Bullets

Gaven's retirement leads Friday's Crew headlines

Eddie Gaven

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USA Today Sports

In an unexpected move, Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven announced his retirement from professional soccer Thursday. In his distinguished career, the 27-year-old helped guide the club to three trophies, including the 2008 MLS Cup. Since entering the League with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2003 at age 16, Gaven recorded more than 278 appearances, 51 goals and 37 assists in MLS regular-season competition. He joined the Black & Gold in 2006. Adam Jardy from the Columbus Dispatch reports on Gaven's retirement.

Gaven's retirement generated interest well beyond central Ohio. The midfielder, famous for his beard and tireless work ethic, has been a prominent figure since he joined the League as a teenager sans facial hair. Perhaps his strangest claim to fame is the time he played goalkeeper -- albeit for just a few seconds -- during his rookie season, also scoring his first career goal in the same game. Deadspin's Barry Petchesky recalled the occasion upon his retirement. Andrew King from MLSsoccer.com and Liviu Bird from Pro Soccer talk also reflects on Gaven's contributions to Major League Soccer.

The 2013 Crew season was quite the ride. From the stellar goals to the late game-winners and the sensational saves, the Black & Gold gave us so many memories and reminded us why we keep coming back for more. In this highlight reel put together by TheCrew.com, relive what was truly a season unlike any other.