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GALAXY: Chris Klein joins retirement party

Cerritos-bred winger Eddie Lewis (Cerritos HS/UCLA) last month said this would be his final season, so when the Galaxy distributed an official announcement Wednesday, there wasn’t much need to take notice.

That Chris Klein also is retiring -- that’s news.

The 34-year-old midfielder evolved from first-choice right wing to effective substitute to little-used veteran since joining the Galaxy in 2007, and he becomes the third L.A. player to retire this season, joining Lewis and Clint Mathis.

Klein, who starred at Indiana University, also played for the Kansas City Wizards and Real Salt Lake in a 13-year Major League Soccer career and made 22 appearances for the U.S. national team from 2000 to 2006, scoring five goals.

He’s played 332 games in MLS, the fifth-highest total, scoring 49 goals with 69 assists, and holds the league record for consecutive games played (141) and started (118). Both streaks ended last season, when his playing time diminished significantly.

Klein was one the primary figures in Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl’s book, The Beckham Experiment, about David Beckham’s first season and a half with the Galaxy. Klein was depicted as a conservative Christian who was exceedingly savvy on financial matters.

He has been one of the true go-to players for journalists covering the Galaxy. He’s extremely bright and intuitive and our encounters with him always are lively and illuminating.