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Real escape with hope of progress

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By ESPN Staff

Lisi retires after six-year career

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- New York Red Bulls midfielder Mark Lisi retired Wednesday because of a hernia, ending a six-year career.

Lisi, third all-time in Red Bulls history with 30 assists, was placed on the injury reserve list Aug. 24 after two hernia surgeries and a muscle strain.

"It was the most difficult decision I've ever made," said the 29-year-old Lisi. "When you dedicate and make sacrifices to become a pro and then it ends all so suddenly, there's an empty feeling inside. I've been fortunate to have lived out my dream and do what I've wanted to do since I was a child."

Lisi had an assist in each of his first four starts this season and had a career-high 11 assists in 2003.

He began his MLS career with D.C. United after being selected third overall in the 2001 draft.