Galaxy Defender Walks Away From Soccer

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Ty Harden has decided on a very early retirement, reportedly walking away from the game of soccer to pursue a business opportunity with his family."I'm not sure what's going on, other than it's personal reasons and we know he's in good health," said Galaxy forward Edson Buddle. "As far as I know, nothing's finalized, but I don't know a lot."

Harden, 23, was drafted out of the University of Washington by Los Angeles in the 2nd round of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft (23rd overall). Earning a starting position immediately, the Junction City, OR native developed from unknown rookie defender to a solid contributor for the Galaxy over the course of the season, making 24 appearances and logging 2,086 minutes total.

Signed to a developmental contract, Harden's painfully-low starting salary of $17,000 made headlines around the soccer world by those astonished that a professional athlete could make such a small amount. At one point during the season, it was even revealed that Harden actually had a second job to supplement his income - cleaning pools. He eventually got a raise to $30,000 per year, but it apparently wasn't enough to keep his interest in soccer.

It should be noted that Harden's father, Rob Harden, is CEO and president of Goodwill Industries of Lane County in Oregon. It is unclear at this time if that is the business to which Ty is referring.

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