Seattle Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp is turning away from the pitch and entering the classroom.

Shipp, 28, announced Tuesday that he is retiring from professional soccer and is pursuing an MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

"This was not an easy decision because of all the amazing people at the Sounders, but I am excited to take this next step in my life," Shipp said in a team release. "I am grateful that I was I was able to live out my childhood dreams. I grew up going to MLS games, was part of an MLS Academy in its infancy, and then got the opportunity to play for three clubs all over the continent. I am also grateful that my last full season ended in an MLS championship with Seattle.

"Thank you to all the fans who committed time and money to allow me to kick a ball for a living. Thank you to all my teammates over the years. You gave me more cultural learning experiences than I ever could have imagined from a job. Thank you to all the support staff who help make a team and club actually function. You all work way harder than any of us players. Thank you to my family, especially my wife, for being incredibly supportive on this journey. Thanks to the people of Seattle for making this feel like home for the past four years. I look forward to coming back to games as a fan!"

Shipp has recorded 22 goals and 24 assists in 157 career MLS matches with the Chicago Fire (2014-15), Montreal Impact (2016) and Sounders. He had five goals and three assists last season while helping Seattle win the 2019 MLS Cup.

"I want to thank Harry for his fantastic tenure with the Sounders. He helped us win a championship and was a consistent cog in our success," said Gareth Lagerwey, the Sounders general manager and president of soccer.

"He always had a positive attitude whatever role he was asked to play in our team and was a great pro. We will support him as he moves forward with his next career and we wish him the best of luck at Northwestern. We couldn't be more proud of him for embracing his next challenge. He will be missed."

Shipp served as the Sounders' player representative with the MLS Players Union.

--Field Level Media

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