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Long-serving Minnesota United defender hangs up his boots

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Minnesota United is bidding farewell to one of its longest-serving players, who spent his entire professional soccer career playing in his native state.

Brian Kallman announced his retirement from the game with a poignant image of his boots hanging in his locker posted to his Instagram page, along with a lengthy message for fans which included some tips for aspiring players.

"To younger players looking to reach the professional level...everyday is a GRIND," he writes. "Talent can only take you so far. You need to work hard, be a good teammate, person, never act like you are above anyone, and believe in yourself ALWAYS."

The 31-year-old defender revealed he will now go on to coach for Woodbury Soccer Club, the team he started playing for in his home town of Woodbury when he was a 10-year-old.

"I am the only player that can say they have played 3 years for 3 different professional teams in Minnesota," Kallman said, having joined the then Minnesota Thunder in 2006, which became NSC Minnesota Stars between 2010-12, before taking its current name.

His honors include winning the NASL championship with the Minnesota Stars in 2011, reaching the final the following year as well.

In a statement on its website, Minnesota United said Kallman was "a fantastic ambassador for the club ... a supportive teammate, fan favorite, and a force to be reckoned with on the right side of the pitch."

Loon fans have been paying tribute to the United stalwart on Twitter.

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