The Fire announced the retirement of centerback Cory Gibbs today. The 12 year veteran suffered a knee injury early in the season that initially ruled him out of action for 4-6 months. After apparently recuperating quickly from the surgery Gibbs was optimistic about a possible return this summer but the knee did not respond as well as hoped. Rather than continue to attempt to rehabilitate the injury, he is now focused on staying in the game as a coach or a scout.
Gibbs spent two seasons with the Fire and proved to be a valuable locker room presence as well as a solid performer as a starter in 2011. His most memorable Fire moment came in July of last year when his header gave the Fire a first half lead against Manchester United in a nationally televised match.
His retirement opens up a pretty substantial amount of budget space for the Fire as they look to fortify the roster going in to 2013. Gibbs was one of the highest paid players on the squad coming into this past season. The player's union lists him at $165,000.00 guaranteed in 2012.