07/25/2014 11:51 EDT | Updated 09/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Former US international Jay DeMerit retires from football after string of injuries

VANCOUVER - Former U.S. international Jay DeMerit has retired from football after struggling with a string of injuries.

DeMerit, the first player signed by Major League Soccer's expansion Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010, officially announced his retirement Thursday.

The 34-year-old centre back spent six seasons with the English club Watford FC, helping the team gain promotion to the Premier League in 2006 and serving briefly as captain.

He also had 25 international caps for the United States, starting four matches at the 2010 World Cup.

DeMerit missed most of the 2013 season with a torn Achilles tendon, and last month tore a tendon in his left ankle in a 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union.