Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury – one of an elite group of players to play 300 or more games in MLS – announced this evening that he will retire as a professional player at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Jewsbury, who will finish his distinguished playing career after 14 MLS seasons, made the announcement at the club’s annual Stand Together Banquet, held at The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland on Sunday night.
“As tough as this decision was, my family and I are extremely excited about the next chapter and the new adventures ahead,” Jewsbury said. “It has been an honor to represent MLS during my 14 seasons, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to play for two first-class organizations and fan bases that have taken this league and the sport in our country to the next level.
“I will always treasure my six years playing for Portland, including the postgame victory laps on the field with my daughters and celebrating the Timbers MLS Cup victory with the entire city.”
Jewsbury, 35, is one of just three players in MLS history to play 150 or more games with two different clubs in the league, and currently ranks 10th all-time in games played (348) and 29th in minutes played (25,363) as one of just 38 players to appear in 300 career games or more in MLS. Originally a fifth-round (43rd overall) selection of the Kansas City Wizards in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft, Jewsbury has amassed 28 goals and 37 assists over his 348 games played (277 starts) during his 14-year playing career in the league. Additionally, the Springfield, Mo., native has made 19 postseason appearances (16 starts) to date – including six games during the Timbers’ run to their first MLS Cup in 2015 – tallying a goal and three assists in the playoffs during his MLS career, including two assists during the 2013 playoffs as the Timbers advanced to the Western Conference Championship.
“Jack Jewsbury has been a first-class leader on and off the field since the Timbers joined MLS. The consummate professional. I cannot say enough about what he has given to this organization,” said Merritt Paulson, owner of the Timbers. “Jack will leave this team a Portland Timbers icon and I am hopeful he stays involved with this organization.”
Of his 28 career goals in the league, 10 have been game-winners, with half of those coming for the Timbers, including his decisive strike in a 1-0 victory at Vancouver on Oct. 21, 2012, to clinch the Cascadia Cup that season, and two during the club’s MLS Cup-winning season in 2015, with crucial stoppage-time game-winners at Colorado on May 30, 2015, and vs. San Jose on July 5, 2015.
“Throughout Jack’s career, he has exemplified professionalism and what it means to be a Timbers player,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “Since joining the Timbers in 2011, Jack has proved to be a phenomenal addition to this club, as he’s played an instrumental role in its growth from an expansion team into an MLS Cup champion five years later. Throughout his time with the Timbers, he has been a leader on the field and in the community, helping this team reach new heights and continually putting the club before himself.”
Currently in his sixth season with Portland, Jewsbury was acquired by the Timbers prior to the start of their inaugural MLS season in 2011 from Sporting Kansas City, and has gone on to make 153 appearances (135 starts) to date for Portland, scoring 14 goals and tallying 17 assists. The team’s first-ever MLS All-Star and captain, while recording seven goals and eight assists over a career-high 32 games in 2011, Jewsbury was the Timbers’ Players’ Player of the Year in 2011 and the recipient of the club’s Unsung Hero award in 2013. During his first season with the Timbers, Jewsbury played in the 2011 MLS All-Star Game against Manchester United on July 27, 2011, after being voted to the First XI as one of the top vote-getters in the league.
“Jack Jewsbury has been an absolute pleasure to coach during the four years I’ve worked with him, and I can’t say enough about him as a player, professional and person,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “There’s no better reflection of our club and what it embodies than Jack, and his contributions on and off the pitch are immeasurable. He will go down at the end of the season as a legend for this club, one who put the team first and gave all he had every training session, every game. The biggest credit to his accomplished career is that, in his last season, he’s playing one of his biggest roles down the stretch.”
Jewsbury, who resides in the Portland area with his wife, Brittany, and their two daughters, ranks among the top five in several Timbers career statistical categories, including ranking third in MLS games played, MLS games started and MLS minutes played (12,100). Additionally, Jewsbury ranks tied for third in assists and seventh in goals scored for the Timbers in MLS play. On the club’s all-era record books (since 1975), he currently ranks fifth in career games played and tied for eighth in assists.
Among his many significant contributions with Portland as the club made its MLS debut in 2011, Jewsbury’s first regular-season goal with the Timbers helped them secure their first-ever point in the league with a 1-1 draw at New England on April 2, 2011, while his goal at Chicago on July 16, 2011, helped Portland to its first road victory as an MLS side. In the club’s first-ever home contest during U.S. Open Cup qualifying, Jewsbury provided the game-winning goal and assisted on a second tally in the Timbers’ first competitive win as an MLS team in a 2-0 victory over Chivas USA on March 29, 2011.
This season, Jewsbury has one goal and two assists across 19 games played (13 starts), providing a key assist in a 4-2 victory over Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park on Aug. 28, and scoring in a 3-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in Portland on Aug. 7.
Prior to joining the Timbers, Jewsbury, who played collegiately at Saint Louis University, spent eight seasons with the Kansas City Wizards (2003-10), winning a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title and starting in a 3-2 loss to D.C. United during his first MLS Cup in 2004.