Daniel Krutzen Announces Retirement At 27
After winning four league titles over the last five seasons, Dutch centre-back Daniel Krutzen has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 27.
The former Forge defender had enjoyed three North Star Shield wins with Forge FC, captaining the side to their third playoff championship win for his final match with the hammers. He spent this season with Phoenix Rising, where a recurrent knee injury sidelined interrupted his season’s progress, but still couldn’t prevent him from winning the USL Championship last month.
Despite the accolades, the player – who had also come close to a MLS contract with the Whitecaps this year – announced that his persistent knee injuries have instead led him to hang up his boots.
“After a lot of thought and with a heavy heart I’ve decided to retire from professional football,” said the centre-back online. “It’s been a very hard decision to make, but at the end of the day it’s my body telling me it’s time. I’ve had to recover from three surgeries on the same knee, and this unfortunately doesn’t allow me to perform at the level that I want to anymore.”
“I would like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, staff, and fans of the organizations I’ve had the pleasure of playing for. Forge FC and Phoenix Rising will always have a special place in my heart. A special thank you to my wife, my family and my agent who’ve supported me through and through for the last few years and continue to do so.”
The left-footed defender’s playing career took him from FC Tucson to Reading United ahead of his four-year spell at Forge, where he tallied eighty appearances as the team impressed through action both domestic and continental. Forge made it further into Concacaf League with each successive year before qualifying for the Champions Cup in 2021.
While Krutzen suffered a long-term injury that sidelined him for most of 2022, he returned during playoffs and captained the team for its 2-0 win over Atletico Ottawa in the CPL Final.
The Brunssum-born Dutchman was enjoying a strong season in Phoenix this year, featuring in all but one of the club’s first twenty matches before re-aggravating his knee injury. With only eight short appearances coming off the bench after that, he felt it best to transition his career off the pitch for the sake of his physical health.
“At the end of the day I’m extremely grateful to have had such an amazing, however short, career. Four championships in five seasons is unreal and along the way I’ve gathered countless memories that I will cherish forever,” adds Krutzen.
While his career may have ended far sooner than anyone would have hoped for, it’s fair to say the impact and influence Daniel Krutzen had on the Canadian Premier League’s early years will last forever.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques