NFL, NBA, NHL stats

Goalkeeper Mohammad Mohammadi Announces Retirement

June 19, 2014 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Orange County SC News Release

Irvine, CA (June 17, 2014)- Orange County Blues goalkeeper Mohammad Mohammadi has announced his retirement from professional football. The Blues invite you to celebrate his illustrious 19-year career in Iran and the United States this Saturday, June 21, at 7pm PST at Anteater Stadium at UC Irvine.

Mohammadi was born September 20, 1977 to parents Taymour and Fatmeh in Tehran, Iran.

He began to play football at the age of 13, and fell in love with the game immediately. Goalkeeper was the first and only position he has played ever since. Mohammadi played at Payameh Nour University until he graduated, and played his first professional match in 1996 for Sapia Football Club. Saipa F.C is located in Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran and is known for having one of the best youth training programs in Iranian footbal l.

He went on to play for other Iranian clubs like Bargh Shiraz FC, Persepolis FC, Paykan FC, Esteghlal FC also known as "The Blues", SC Damash Gilan, and Rah Ahan Sorinet FC.

Mohammadi also had the privilege to play for his national team, Iran. His first call up was against Denmark in 1999. He was a member of the team that qualified for the 2006 World Cup.

In 2008, Mohammadi and his family moved to the United States, originally settling in New York.

Mohammadi met Ali Mansouri, owner of the Los Angeles Blues in 2011 at a Blues - LA Galaxy game. Mansouri knew of his abilities and instantly wanted him on his team in Los Angeles.

"A true professional, he played some great games for the Blues in Iran and the Blues

here in Southern California, but he will most be missed for the standard he sets, what it means to be professional athlete " he will be dearly missed on and off the field." said Mansouri.

Mohammadi joined the Blues in May 2013. "It was fantastic. I always wanted to play in the USA", said Mohammadi about his new opportunity. His first game was May 31, 2013 against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen's Stadium in New York. The goalkeeper played 90 minutes and assisted his new team to a 2-2 tie, wearing number 22.

One of his most memorable games with the Blues was on July 10, 2013 against Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex in Pennsylvania. The Blues won that match 4-2, behind six saves from Mohammadi, as well as two goals from Matt Fondy, who came on as a substitute in the second half.

Mohammadi has played alongside a few players since he joined the Blues in 2013, including team captain Allan Russell. "Mohammad Mohammadi. A true gentleman of the game. A quiet leader and truly admirable family man. His ability and talent as a goalkeeper is second to none and it has been an honor to be his teammate for the last 2 seasons." said Russell.

Mohammadi played a total of 12 matches with the Blues. Join the Blues this Saturday June 21 at Anteater Stadium as we celebrate his wonderful career.

For more information on being a part of this celebration call (714) 738-8011 or email .

• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...

United Soccer League Championship Stories from June 19, 2014

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.