(Reuters) – Spain’s all-time top scorer David Villa announced yesterday he is retiring from football at the end of the Japanese top flight season. Villa, who has been playing in Japan with Vissel Kobe since the beginning of this year, made the announcement with a statement on his official Twitter account as well as calling a news conference.“After 19 years as a professional, I have decided to retire from playing football at the end of this season. Thank you to all the teams, coaches and teammates that have allowed me to enjoy this dream career,” he wrote.“It is my objective to put the cherry on top by winning the Emperor’s Cup with Vissel Kobe. From then on, I will continue to enjoy football through all the projects that we’re currently developing with DV7 group. Thank you for all the love.” Villa, 37, began his career with Sporting Gijon, later moving to Real Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid before leaving Spain in 2014 for MLS-side New York City. He also had a brief loan spell at Melbourne City.He won two La Liga titles with Barca and one with Atletico among other trophies, also lifting the 2011 Champions League title with the Catalans, scoring in the 3-1 win over Manchester United.Villa also won the 2008 European Championships with Spain and the 2010 World Cup. He retired from international football in 2014 and remains his country’s record scorer with 59 goals in 97 games.
The Orioles tinkered with their bullpen yet again prior to Wednesday’s game in Boston by recalling left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland and optioning right-hander Oliver Drake to Triple-A Norfolk.After spending the required 10 days with the Tides upon being sent down on June 14, McFarland brings more length to a bullpen that’s worked hard in recent weeks. Drake was recalled from Norfolk on Sunday but did not appear in a game in his latest stint with the Orioles.McFarland sports a 1.93 ERA in 9 1/3 innings for the Orioles this season, but that mark is deceiving as the 26-year-old southpaw has allowed 12 hits and issued eight walks, numbers that have earned him a 4.71 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) mark. The former Rule 5 pick settled into a long relief role last season while posting a 2.76 ERA in 58 2/3 innings of work, but his control issues have been problematic in 2015.The Orioles will need to make another roster move on Thursday with starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez scheduled to return from the disabled list to start against the Red Sox. Right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens is expected to be sent back to the minors to make room, returning Baltimore to its normal seven-man bullpen.As anticipated, center fielder Adam Jones was out of the lineup for the sixth time in eight games on Wednesday with David Lough once again replacing him in center field.