Following an incredible international and professional career, long-time U.S. Men’s National Team attacker Clint Dempsey has announced his retirement from the game.
“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,” said Dempsey. “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.”
A native of Nacogdoches, Texas, Dempsey retires as the joint all-time leading scorer in U.S. MNT history, holding the record of 57 goals with former teammate Landon Donovan. Dempsey ends his career with 141 international appearances (third most all-time) and 21 assists (tied for fourth most all-time).
A late bloomer of sorts, Dempsey first represented the United States at the Under-20 level and took part in the team’s run to the Quarterfinals at the 2003 FIFA Youth World Championships in the United Arab Emirates. After a fine collegiate career at Furman University, Dempsey was selected second overall by New England Revolution in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft and went on to win the league’s Rookie of the Year award that season.
Soon after, Dempsey collected his first senior team appearance, coming on as a substitute during a 1-1 draw in a World Cup Qualifying match against Jamaica on Nov. 17, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. Dempsey’s first career goal came less than a year later when he headed home from close range in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on May 28, 2005, just steps away from U.S. Soccer headquarters at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Dempsey went on to represent the United States at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, becoming the first and only MNT player to score in three different tournaments and captained the U.S. as it advanced from the Group Stage in 2014. He was part of three CONCACAF Gold Cup winning sides, lifting the regional title in 2005, 2007 and 2017, while his six goals earned him the Golden Boot at the 2015 edition. Dempsey’s three goals at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup helped lift the USA to the Final and its best finish at a FIFA tournament while adding another trophy to his case as the U.S. forward took home the Bronze Ball.