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Former Toronto FC defender Damien Perquis retires after 18-year career


Former Toronto FC defender Damien Perquis announced his retirement Monday after an 18-year career.

The 36-year-old French-born Polish international played 25 regular-season games for Toronto in 2015 and 12 in 2016 before terminating his contract by mutual agreement midway through the season.

"What a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and have the chance to do the job you enjoy the most," Perquis said in a social media post announcing his retirement.

"So many wonderful memories, football games, emotions, encounters and difficulties to overcome," he added. "Everything is now in my head and in my heart. Today I am ending an 18-year adventure at the highest level."

Of Polish decent through his grandmother, Perquis won 13 caps for the Polish national team.

Perquis began his career in France with Troyes before moving to Saint-Etienne and Sochaux. He spent three season in Spain with Real Betis before coming to MLS in January 2015.

After Toronto, Perquis went on to play for England's Nottingham Forest and, most recently, Gazelec Ajaccio in France.

Perquis saw Toronto as a new start — and a chance to escape the fishbowl of European soccer. But his playing time dwindled in his second season.

He was brought to Toronto to play with centre back Steven Caldwell. But the veteran Scot played just two games, forced to retire in mid-season due to injury. Perquis was partnered with a variety of centre backs in a porous TFC defence that gave up 58 goals, tied for worst in the league.

He started the 2016 season in a partnership with veteran Drew Moor, a free agent who joined in the off-season from Colorado. Perquis started nine of the first 10 matches, playing 806 minutes, but started just two of the next seven, playing 180 minutes.

With a salary of US$427,500, the French-born Polish international had the fourth-highest number on Toronto's books in 2016, behind only designated players Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.

At his best, Perquis was solid at the back and was a fine passer. But he was also an emotional powder-keg at times, on and off the field. 

Perquis made 38 appearances for Toronto in all competitions with two goals and two assists.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2020.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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