Soccer World Reacts To Retirement Of Clint Dempsey, One Of America’s Greatest

The all-time leading scorer in USMNT history called it quits in the midst of the MLS season.

One of the greatest soccer players the United States has ever produced called it quits on Wednesday. Clint Dempsey, the joint record holder for most goals in U.S. Men's National Team history, announced he was retiring from soccer, effective immediately. 

Thank you it’s been real. 

A post shared by Clint Dempsey (@clint_dempsey) on

Dempsey retired with 57 goals for the USMNT, tied with Landon Donovan for most all time. Dempsey is the only USMNT player to ever score in three straight World Cups, and his goal against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup ranks No. 1 on our list of greatest Dempsey goals for the U.S. 

Born in the Piney Woods of Nacogdoches, Texas, Dempsey had undeniable grit, uncommon flair and undying indefatigability that made him one of the most unique players the United States has ever produced. Much of his determination came down to a vow to honor his sister, Jennifer, who died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 16. 

“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 said. “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.”

(Leave it to a Texan to go out with a "y'all.")

The Clint Dempsey retirement comes in the midst of a trying season with the Seattle Sounders for the 35-year-old. Second on the team with 39 shots, Dempsey only found the back of the net once in 14 matches. 

But the fact Dempsey was playing at all was a testament to his character, fire and determination. In 2016, the Texan was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, sidelining him for Seattle’s MLS Cup championship. But Dempsey fought back and returned for the 2017 season, leading the Sounders with 15 goals in 2017. 

Dempsey is tied with Fredy Montero for the club record with 47 MLS goals. 

Perhaps more so than his time in MLS with Seattle and the New England Revolution, Dempsey is remembered fondly for his time in England with Fulham and Tottenham. The Texan is the highest scoring American in the Premier League with 57, including a club-record 50 for Fulham. He helped guide Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010. 

The three-time recipient of the U.S. Soccer’s Male Player of the Year honor, Dempsey equaled Landon Donovan’s goal make in 16 fewer appearances. In addition to his World Cup exploits, he scored three goals at the 2009 Confederations Cup, when the U.S. went up 2-0 on Brazil in the final only to lose 3-2 in the end. 

The only thing Dempsey didn’t do well was rap

Following the Clint Dempsey retirement announcement, scores of former players, teams and media members expressed their admiration for the Deuce. 

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