Vancouver Whitecaps centre-back Florian Jungwirth has announced his retirement after a 15-year playing career spanning two continents.

But his time with the Whitecaps is not over. The club has named Jungwirth to an assistant coaching position with the first team.

“First of all, we want to congratulate Florian on an incredible career,” sporting director Axel Schuster said. “We are excited to have Flo join our coaching staff as he brings a wealth of experience having played in many competitions across the world. We have a number of young players on our roster and his first-hand knowledge will provide a great resource for them.”

A German-born footballer, Jungwirth joined 1860 Munich’s youth team in 2000 before earning a move to the second team in 2008.

After a move to Dresden, he earned a spot on the first team. Over four seasons, he helped the club get promoted from the third to the second division, playing in almost 90 games for them.

He moved on, first with VfL Bochum in the 2. Bundesliga for a season and then onto Darmstadt 98. It was with Darmstadt 98 that he would get his first taste of top-league football, helping the club earn promotion in his first year. He would go on to play two years in Germany’s top league, the Bundesliga.

In 2017, Jungwirth made the trip overseas and signed with MLS club San Jose Earthquakes. A mainstay on their backline over five seasons, he amassed 5 goals and 9 assists over 124 matches. He was named the Earthquakes’ defensive player of the year in 2017 and 2019.

He signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2021, playing 27 matches over two seasons.

In his final year with the Whitecaps, Jungwirth also started coaching with the club’s U-16 side. He earned his UEFA B Licence in December 2022.

Jungwirth will now be on the bench, albeit in a different role than fans are used to seeing him as he helps the club on four fronts this season: MLS, the Canadian Championship, the CONCACAF Champions League and the Leagues Cup.