ATLANTA, United States (CMC) – Trinidadian forward Kenwyne Jones abruptly ended his 15-year professional career on Monday after Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United opted not to renew his contract for the upcoming season.
The 33-year-old, a former Trinidad and Tobago captain, was one of seven players not retained by Atlanta following a season where he scored two goals in just 17 league appearances, and he subsequently announced his decision via the online social networking service, Twitter.
“Football has been great to me, I thank everyone who has helped me on the way, I appreciate you, but this is my last year in the sport…#onelove.”
He was later quoted as saying: “My decision to retire from playing has not been an easy one for me but having thought about it at length, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.
“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career I’ve had and I’ve loved every moment of it, being part of history and playing before fans of my country and the different teams I represented.
“It has been a huge distinction to captain my national team both at the senior and youth level and these were some of the best years of my life.”
Following successful spells with Trinidadian Pro League clubs Joe Public and W Connection, the six-foot, two-inch striker came to prominence as a 19-year-old when he excited the taste buds during a three-year spell at Southampton when he smashed in 19 goals from 71 appearances.
Jones then joined Sunderland in 2007 in a deal valued at six million pounds sterling, yet again impressing in his three years on Tyneside. His strong aerial ability saw him attract attention from Premiership giants Liverpool and Chelsea but he remained with Sunderland until moving to Stoke City in 2010 for a club-record, eight million pounds sterling.
This move was followed by a two-year spell at Cardiff City and short loan stints a Bournemouth and Al Jazira in United Emirates, before linking up with Atlanta last year.
Jones won 89 caps for T&T, scoring 23 goals and was a member of the historic squad which qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He played in three CONCACAF Gold Cup campaigns in 2005, 2013 and 2015, and was part of T&T’s recent failed 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.