Boggs Retires to Accept Fulbright

The New England Revolution announced Zak Boggs retirement to accept a Fulbright Scholarship on Friday. (Photo: Chris Aduama/aduama.com)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution announced on Friday that midfielder Zak Boggs has retired and will accept a Fulbright Scholarship to study medical sciences at England’s Leicester University starting this fall.

Boggs suffered a severe ankle sprain in early February and hasn’t appeared in a first team match this season. He was drafted in the second round (31st overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft and appeared in 29 games during his Revolution career, recording two goals and one assist.

The third year midfielder won the 2011 MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award for regularly volunteering his time to assist with cancer research at Children’s Hospital Boston in Dr. Marsha Moses’ research laboratory.  Boggs had been volunteering at the hospital and making trips to visit patients since the fall of 2010. The MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award he won meant the hospital’s cancer research laboratory received a $5,000 donation from MLS W.O.R.K.S

“We want to wish Zak the best of luck as he re-enters the academic world,” Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said in a club press release. “Zak has had a passion for medical research his entire time with us, which he was able to balance with his playing career. But this is an outstanding opportunity for him, and one which allow him to continue his cancer research at a higher level.”

The prestigious Fulbright Scholarship was founded in 1946 by United States Senator J. William Fulbright and its alumni include 43 Nobel Prize winners, 29 heads of state, and 81 Pulitzer Prize winners. The Fulbright Boggs received will also cover his costs of round-trip transportation abroad and living expenses for the academic year.

Boggs is one of only 35 students selected to study in the United Kingdom this year with the most competitive Fulbright award. Boggs is expected to examine potential cancer treatment s through mRNA splicing under while working under Dr. Ian Eperon at the University of Leicester, according to a report from his alma mater, University of Southern Florida.

Boggs graduated USF with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a 4.0 GPA and a master’s degree in marketing. While at USF, Boggs volunteered at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida and Shriners Children’s Hospital in Tampa.

On the playing field, Boggs had nine goals and six assists in 44 games in two seasons at USF, where he helped lead the team to their first-ever BIG EAST championship in 2008. He won the 2010 Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup Award, BIG EAST Conference Male Scholar-Athlete and was an ESPN First Team Scholar All-American. Prior to USF, Boggs, a Vienna, West Virginia native, played one year at West Virginia University and another at University of Central Florida. Over four seasons of college soccer he had 18 goals and eight assists.

Boggs recently served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Foxboro High School soccer team.

Boggs isn’t the first Revolution player to leave the club to pursue a prestigious academic opportunity. In 2009, goalkeeper Zack Simmons, a University of Massachusetts Amherst product, left the Revs to attend top ranked Yale Law School.

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About Sean Donahue

Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He has covered four MLS Cups, in addition to covering various international matches, including World Cup Qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has done freelance work for the AP and ESPN Boston. Sean hosted Revolution Recap, a weekly radio program covering the New England Revolution and U.S. Men's National Team from 2005-2008. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters. Sean can be reached at nesoccertoday@gmail.com or followed on twitter @SeanLDonahue