Chase Hilgenbrinck was a professional soccer player and a devout Catholic until yesterday, when he announced his retirement from the sport. The 26-year-old will head to a Maryland seminary to begin 6 years of training for the priesthood, AP reports. "I still have a great passion for the game," Hilgenbrinck says, but "I felt called to something greater."
The New England Revolution defender began his soccer career in Chile after being passed up in the 2004 MLS draft, and relied on his religion to help him settle into a new culture. Once he began to feel the call toward priesthood, "it was not possible to continue with soccer," even temporarily, because "delayed obedience is disobedience."