Herold retires due to heart condition

Updated: May 17, 2010, 12:25 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- MLS prospect Zachary Herold has ended his soccer career at 17 because of a heart condition.

Herold is a defender for Toronto FC who also has made 15 appearances for the U.S. under-17 team.

His condition causes abnormal thickening of a part of the heart muscle. Strenuous exercise carries the risk of a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm. The problem was flagged in a preseason medical.

Herold was selected in the second round, 24th overall, in the January MLS draft.

He will be part of the ceremonial coin toss before Saturday's game against the New England Revolution. Toronto FC said Monday it was the "right thing" to honor him in front of the home fans.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press