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Braz retires, will go into management with Impact

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He’s only 29. He doesn’t have a history of chronic injuries. But Montreal Impact fullback Adam Braz called time on his playing career Monday.

The Impact announced that Braz, who spent seven seasons and played more than 10,000 minutes with the club, will move into team management. And the club admitted when Braz informed the front office of the decision, there were stunned faces all around.

“Adam took us all by surprise when he told us of his intentions. He could have easily continued playing,” said sporting director Nick De Santis in a release issued by the Impact. “I salute the great career he carved out for himself at the highest levels of North American soccer, with the Impact, in MLS and with the national team. He will now have other important responsibilities with the team as the principal liaison between the players, the coaches and the technical staff, but Adam has always been dedicated to the club and we know that he was made for this new role.”

“I took a lot of time to make this decision,” said Braz, who spent the 2007 season with Toronto FC. “I am retiring today because it has always been my long term goal to transition into sport management and the opportunity presented itself.”

Braz made 13 appearances for TFC in 2007. He made no bones about his devotion to his Jewish faith; he didn’t play for either TFC or the Impact during the annual high holiday of Yom Kippur.

Braz played in the 2009 CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against Santos Laguna, where 55,000 fans packed Olympic Stadium to watch the Impact beat the Mexican side 2-0. He became ill before the second leg and couldn’t start in the hostile Mexican conditions. Montreal was up 4-1 on aggregate at halftime of the second leg, but Santos stormed back. Braz was brought on as a late defensive sub but couldn’t stop Santos from scoring two goals in injury time to seal a 5-4 aggregate comeback win.

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