Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey announced his retirement from a 15-year professional soccer career on Wednesday.
Nicknamed “Deuce,” the 35-year-old Dempsey is a former U.S. Men’s National Team captain who played for the New England Revolution before spending seven seasons in the English Premier League. The Nacogdoches, Texas native joined the Sounders in 2013 and helped lead the team to the MLS Cup in 2016.
“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.”
Dempsey is the only American to score in three consecutive World Cups and is tied for the USMNT career record with 57 international goals. He also holds the American record with 79 goals in the Premier League.
Dempsey scored 47 goals in 115 appearances with the Sounders, but had been relegated to a reserve role for much of this season and had reportedly been in discussions with the team’s front office in recent weeks about his future. He finishes with 72 goals and 42 assists in 186 career MLS games.
“As far as I’m concerned, Clint Dempsey is the greatest player in the history of our country,” Sounders general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “His mark on both our club and the United States men’s national team is indelible, and his hard-earned reputation as a trailblazer for our nation in Europe helped pave the way for generations of future of Americans abroad.”
—Field Level Media