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Josh Gros's Transition Game

You may have noticed that Peter Nowak included a familiar name -- Josh Gros -- as an assistant coach for his U.S. under-23 national team's trip to France for the Toulon International Tournament, which begins next week.

"We didn't talk about it all. It was a complete surprise," Gros told the Insider before boarding the team's transatlantic flight last night in New York. "He just gave me a call a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested. I was surprised and excited."

Gros, as you recall, stepped away from D.C. United and competitive soccer after four seasons at age 25 after suffering a series of concussions and head injuries. He has moved on with his life, joining an engineering firm in McLean, Va. His title is junior engineer and he has made site visits in D.C. and worked on projects in Maryland. His bosses gave him time off in order to join the U-23s, who will play Turkey, Ivory Coast and Italy in the group stage of this major tuneup for the Summer Olympics.

Though Gros initially said he was going to take a year off and re-evaluate his situation next winter, retirement seems certain.

"I haven't completely shot down the idea of returning, but based on what the doctors have told me, it's probably a bad idea to try and play again," he said. "So the answer is probably, 'No'."

Gros has been working in his free time with the DCU youth academy and will continue to pursue opportunities in coaching.

"I'm enjoying it and it keeps me involved," he said. "It's the next best thing to playing."

By Steve Goff  |  May 15, 2008; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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