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LAFC defender Danilo Silva announces retirement

Veteran stymied by injuries to end career.

Los Angeles FC v Seattle Sounders FC Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Los Angeles Football Club announced Wednesday that defender Danilo Silva has announced his retirement as a player, effective immediately.

Silva, 33, joined LAFC in the summer of 2018 at first on loan and then permanently from Brazilian club Internacional, after a long stint at Dynamo Kyiv, where he played the bulk of his career and found his greatest success, winning two Ukrainian league titles and two domestic cups there. The Brazilian also played for several clubs in his native country and first came across Bob Bradley’s radar with a cup of coffee at the MetroStars in 2005 when Bradley was coaching there.

“As I look back on the last 16 years, I’m very proud of my career and have nothing but happy memories that will last a lifetime,” said Silva in a team statement. “I’m beyond grateful to all my coaches, teammates, staff members and fans for their support and for helping me become the best player I can be. Finally, I want to thank my wife and kids for joining me on this ride and for allowing me to chase my dreams.”

Silva became the de facto replacement for Laurent Ciman in 2018 after the Belgian’s surprise departure, and largely played well to conclude the season for LAFC, although a couple gaffes in the playoff loss against Real Salt Lake that year ended a decent season on a sour note.

Silva was hurt for most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, including back surgery last year, and it was rather surprising he returned this season. Last year he made just five regular season appearances (two starts) and two additional appearances in the U.S. Open Cup. This season, he had one appearance, Aug. 30 against the Seattle Sounders, in which he was injured before halftime and lasted 39 minutes.

That was a low-key coda on what’s been a very good career for Silva. League titles in Brazil and Ukraine, the Supporters’ Shield with LAFC in 2019, and while Silva’s injury issues meant he really never got a chance to take off and show if he could be a good starting center back in MLS, he was liked on his team and gave what he could to the cause.

Best of luck to Danilo in the next phase of his life.

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