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Former SKC, Timbers defender Michael Harrington retires

Apr 1, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Fire defender Michael Harrington (5) during the game at Toyota Park. (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Harrington, an 11-year veteran of Major League Soccer, announced his retirement on Jan. 24. Harrington, 33, spent last season playing with North Carolina FC in the USL Championship.

The former third overall MLS SuperDraft pick announced the news on his Twitter account, while also revealing the next move in his career. Harrington will be returning to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to finish a degree and work as an assistant coach with the school’s men’s soccer team.

A native of Greenville, N.C., Harrington represented the U.S. national team at the youth level, playing for the Stars and Stripes at the 2003 U-17 Championships and at the 2005 U-20 World Cup. He was an alternate for the 2008 Olympic team.

Harrington spent the majority of his career playing left back, and he credited the late coach Sigi Schmid for moving him there.

Sporting Kansas City — then the Kansas City Wizards — selected Harrington in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. Over six seasons, Harrington played in 162 games with Kansas City, scoring five times and adding 14 assists. In 2012, he helped SKC win the U.S. Open Cup.

He later played with the Portland Timbers, where he racked up five assists in 68 appearances, and with the Colorado Rapids and Chicago Fire.

Harrington ended his career in his home state, appearing in 25 matches for North Carolina FC in 2018.

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