Mehdi Ballouchy has retired from soccer.
The Moroccan midfielder brings a long and successful MLS career to a close following two seasons with NYCFC.
A popular member of the squad, Ballouchy appeared on 23 occasions for the team, scoring three goals and making two assists.
Acquired in the 2014 MLS Expansion draft from Vancouver Whitecaps, Mehdi made his NYCFC debut against Orlando City SC on March 8 2015 and earned the Etihad Airways Player of the Month award for May in the team’s inaugural season.
Ballouchy told NYCFC.com: "As a kid, I played soccer out of pure joy, and today, that remains exactly the same.
“This game has taught me discipline, given me an education, and over 11 years as a professional, has offered me so much to be grateful for.
“As I hang up my boots, I want to thank this diverse and amazing sport for all the friends and memories it has given me.
“While I can't predict what the future holds, one thing remains sure: I will always play soccer and I will play with just as much joy as I did during my childhood.
“Special thanks to all of my teammates and NYCFC fans - dreams do come true."
Mehdi vs Philadelphia Union
Over the course of his 11-year professional career in MLS, Mehdi represented Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids, Red Bulls, San Jose Earthquakes, Vancouver Whitecaps and NYCFC.
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna salutes the outgoing 33-year old, hailing his influence and professionalism throughout his time at the club.
Reyna said: “Mehdi’s experience of this league, as well as his passion and enthusiasm have made him a great servant to this club throughout the past two years.
“As one of the original squad members in our inaugural season, his place in the history of this club is assured and he’ll always be remembered fondly by all of us here as he ends his professional playing career.
“On top of his talents on the field, Mehdi is a humble, intelligent and thoughtful person and I’m sure everyone at the club will agree that it was a pleasure to work alongside him.
“Whatever Mehdi chooses to do next, I’m certain he will be successful - he leaves with all of our very warmest wishes.”
Everyone at NYCFC would like to thank Mehdi for his contributions on and off the field and wish him every happiness in retirement.