Cavalry FC captain Nik Ledgerwood retires from playing career

Cavalry FC's Nik Ledgerwood during second half soccer action in the Canadian Championship quarterfinal against Pacific FC in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY -- Cavalry FC captain Nik Ledgerwood, whose Canada career spanned a decade, has announced his retirement.

The 37-year-old from Lethbridge, Alta., was one of the Canadian Premier League team's first signings in November 2018, along with fellow midfielder Sergio Camargo. He made 47 appearances in three Canadian Premier League seasons, as well as five Canadian Championship appearances.

Ledgerwood also won 50 caps for the Canada men's national team from 2007 to 2017, taking part in 2010, 2014, and 2018 World Cup qualifying games.

Ledgerwood started his career with the Calgary Storm before moving to Europe where he played from 2003 to 2015. In Germany, he had stints with 1860 Munich, FSV Frankfurt, Wehen Wiesbaden, MSV Duisburg and Energie Cottbus among other clubs. He also played for Sweden's Hammarby.

He was with FC Edmonton and Calgary Foothills before joining Cavalry.

"I think people are going to underestimate how big of an impact this league will have on soccer in Canada, for the youth growing up, for all that next generation of players who want to aspire to be part of the national team and play professional soccer," Ledgerwood said at the time.

"Once this gets up and running, I think it will be the next biggest thing for Canadian soccer players because we didn't have anything before."

Cavalry head coach and general manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said Ledgerwood was "an unsung hero in the history of Canadian soccer due to the longevity of his career and his importance to the national team for many years."

"To have been able to personally witness the start and finish of his career here in Calgary is an absolute honour," Wheeldon added in a statement. "I'm excited to see what his next chapter brings as he has been a trailblazer for many a young Albertan and Canadian kid and now, as a founding father of this Canadian Premier League and our first ever signing, he has been an integral part of creating opportunities closer to home than he himself would have had."

Cavalry chief operating officer Ian Allison called Ledgerwood "the consummate professional and leader on and off the pitch."

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