VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Former U.S. national team player Jay DeMerit has retired from soccer.
DeMerit, the first player signed by the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010 and the Major League Soccer team's first captain, officially announced his retirement Thursday.
''When it makes sense, when it's right, it's not sad,'' DeMerit said. ''It's not something I am going to regret. It's something I am very proud of.''
The 34-year-old DeMerit will continue to work with the Whitecaps as an ambassador and has other business interests in Vancouver.
''I am excited for the future,'' he said. ''By no means is this the end.''
The center back had a goal and an assist in 71 career games with the Whitecaps. DeMerit spent six seasons with English club Watford FC before joining the Whitecaps. He also appeared in 25 games with the U.S. national squad, starting four matches in the 2010 World Cup.
In 2013, he missed most of the year with a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the season opener against Toronto FC. Last month, he tore a tendon in his left ankle in a 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union.
''I knew I was up against it,'' DeMerit said.
DeMerit played college soccer at Illinois-Chicago.