The Seattle Sounders announced that Clint Dempsey is retiring from professional soccer. The 35-year-old attacker had a prolific career at the club and international level, featuring and scoring at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups. He’s the only American to achieve that feat.
“After a lot of thought, my family and I have decided that this is the right time for me to step away from the game,” Dempsey told the club’s official website. “I’d like to thank all of the teammates, coaches and support staff that I’ve worked with throughout my career. It has always been my dream to make it as a pro. I’m grateful to have been on this ride. I would like to thank all of the fans who have supported me throughout my career with the New England Revolution, Fulham, Tottenham, Seattle Sounders and the U.S. Men’s National Team. Y’all have always made me feel at home, and it is something that I will always remember.”
Dempsey finishes his career with the United States Men’s National Team tied for the most goals (57) with Landon Donovan and with the third most appearances (141) behind Cobi Jones and Donovan. He is widely considered to be one of, if not the best, American players to put on the shirt.
Dempsey’s professional career began with the New England Revolution in 2004 after three seasons at Furman University. He subsequently moved to Fulham where saved the club from relegation multiple times. After a brief tenure at Tottenham Hotspur, he made a record return to MLS, signing with Seattle.
Dempsey will be remembered as a player who never shied away from a challenge and was seemingly ever-present in big moments. Despite avoiding the spotlight, fans and media were drawn to his technical ability and penchant for flair. As former national team manager Bruce Arena memorably remarked, “He tries sh*t.”