St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis FC forward Mike Ambersley has announced his retirement from professional soccer.
Ambersley was born and raised in St. Louis, coming up through the Scott Gallagher youth system before playing at De Smet Jesuit High School. He was recognized as a Parade Magazine and NSCAA High School All-American, as well as the Missouri Player of the Year in 2000. Ambersley attended Indiana University where he started 82 games, scored 18 goals and contributed 22 assists from 2001-2005. He played in two Final Fours and scored the winning penalty kick in the 2004 National Championship game for the title.
Ambersley was selected by FC Dallas in the 2006 MLS Superdraft before he joined the Rochester Rhinos in the USL that season. He made 52 appearances and scored 5 goals for Rochester Rhinos from 2006-2009 before returning home to play for AC St. Louis during the 2010 season. He made 23 appearances and scored 9 goals in the solitary AC St. Louis campaign. Ambersley then joined the Tampa Bay Rowdies and made 60 appearances with 19 goals during the 2011-2013 seasons. He spent a season at both Minnesota United and Indy Eleven in the NASL before returning to St. Louis again in 2015.
Ambersley became the first official signing of Saint Louis FC when announced on January 13th, 2015. He went on to make 53 appearances, score 6 goals, and provide 6 assists during his time with the club. Ambersley's final stats as a professional include: 200 appearances, 48 goals scored, and 29 assists provided.
"Bringing Mike back to St Louis was a priority for the club from the day we announced Saint Louis FC," said General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh. "His journey as a player has been well documented and his longevity as a pro is second to none. He was a valuable asset not only to the team but also the community. He will be missed in professional soccer."
The following statement was issued by Mike Ambersley:
I want to thank STLFC for giving me the opportunity to play for my hometown team and represent the city of St. Louis. Playing the last two years has been hard for me personally because all I wanted was to win for this team and the incredible fans we were fortunate enough to play in front of every time we stepped on the field. With that being said, I am confident and excited with the direction of the club moving forward.
It has been a great ride the past 11 years playing the game that I love so much. I want to thank my wife, Lauren, for all the sacrifices she has made along the way. I also want to thank my Mom and Dad for their love and support and giving me every opportunity to succeed. And my brother, Eric, who has been my biggest fan from day one.
I was fortunate to play for some incredible coaches along the way. None more important than Jerry Yeagley and Greg Vitello. They believed in me and taught me how to play the game the right way. Lastly, I want to thank all my former teammates. As a player, all I wanted was to be a good teammate and a player others enjoyed playing with. I'm going to miss that aspect of the game more than anything else.
There comes a time when you realize you can't do the same things on the field that once came so easy. So you have to work even harder to get to a level where you can compete every day. I did everything I could do to get my body ready to play at a high level, which makes this decision an easy one for me being that I have no regrets. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life and the challenges ahead.