The somewhat mysterious removal of Santino Quaranta's name from the list of players available for the MLS Re-Entry Draft now has an answer: The 27-year-old midfielder has apparently retired, according to the Washington Post's Steven Goff. DC United had elected not to pick up Quaranta's option, which was not necessarily surprising, but had also declined to renegotiate with him.
When the final Re-Entry Draft list came out on Friday, Quaranta's name was one of the more curious absences. The other players that had been removed had either announced their retirement or been offered new, renegotiated contracts. Quaranta did not seem to fit into either category though.
While it's always surprising to hear that a relatively healthy 27-year-old has retired from anything, it's maybe not as surprising in Quaranta's case once you look at some of the extenuating circumstances. Quaranta is a native of the DC area, having been born in Baltimore, Md. and signing with United as a 16-year-old in 2001. He originally played with United until 2006 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy and then the New York Red Bulls before heading back to United in 2008.
The return to United seemed to reignite his once-promising career. After scoring just three goals from 2006-08 while battling injuries and, apparently, a drug addiction, Quaranta scored five goals with four assists in his first season back with United. From 2008-11, Quaranta scored 10 goals with 16 assists and once again made himself an attractive player, at least for the right price.
It's hard to imagine any team would have been interested in Quaranta at his current salary (last year he reportedly made $117,000), but lots of teams probably would have liked him at a more cap-friendly number. In recent days, Quaranta had expressed disappointment at United failing to renegotiate with him, implying he was still interested in playing.
For more on Quaranta, check out United blog Black and Red United.