U.S. Legend Clint Dempsey Retires after a prolific 15 year career as a player, U.S. International Clint Dempsey has announced his retirement. On Wednesday, August 29th, Dempsey officially announced his retirement from the beautiful game.
The 35 year old American icon has had quite the career in both Major League Soccer (MLS), the English Premier League (EPL) and on the international stage. In 2004, he was drafted 8th overall to the New England Revolution. There he made 71 appearances between 2004 and 2006. During that time, he scored 25 goals for the New England club.
In December of 2006, English club Fulham FC made a $4 million offer for the american striker, which was the largest amount ever offered for an MLS player at the time.
Dempsey would go on to be the third American player in Fulham’s squad, which included legends such as Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra. On January 11th, 2007, Dempsey made his deal long term and became the most expensive American player in the league’s history at the time, with the deal reportedly costing £2 million ($2.5 million).
He would go on to score his first goal for Fulham in a 1-0 against Liverpool FC on May 5th, 2007, which helped the English club avoid relegation and stay up.
Dempsey’s most prolific season with Fulham would come in the 2009-2010 season, where he was an integral part to helping the club reach the Europa League final.
He scored the winning goal in the round of 16 to give Fulham the edge against Italian giants Juventus. In the Europa League final, Dempsey came on as a substitute for Bobby Zamora, making him the first American player to make an appearance in a major European final.
Unfortunately, He was not able to help his club as Fulham lost to Atletico Madrid in the 116th minute with Diego Forlan scored to break Fulham fan’s hearts. Dempsey made 184 appearances for Fulham and became the club’s leading scorer, scoring 50 goals.
On August 31, 2012, Dempsey joined English club Tottenham Hotspur for a reported fee of £9 ($11.6 million). He would make 29 appearances with the North London club, scoring 7 goals.
On August 3, 2013, Dempsey returned to the United States and signed with the Seattle Sounders as a Designated Player for $9 million.
He would go on to make 115 appearances, scoring 47 goals. During the 2016 MLS season, he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. A year later, he would be rewarded the MLS Comeback Player of the Year for 2017 after scoring 12 goals in 29 appearances for the Sounders in the 2017 season.
Dempsey is perhaps best known for his time with the United States Men’s National Team, serving as their star talisman from 2004 to 2017, making 141 appearances for his country and becoming the top goal scorer in U.S. history with 57 goals.
Dempsey is also known for being an integral part of the U.S. team’s Confederations Cup final run in 2009, ultimately losing to Brazil.
In the eyes of U.S. Soccer fans, Dempsey will always be remembered for scoring the equalizing goal against England in the 2010 FIFA World Cup after England goalkeeper Rob Green made a fatal mistake. He would go on to be a key part in the United State’s Gold Cup win in 2011 and their fairytale run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
When American soccer fans think of Clint Dempsey, they think of a legend. Clint revolutionized the beautiful game in the United States, and paved the way for many young Americans to get into soccer.
Dempsey’s incredible career will never be forgotten, and we hope to see this younger generation of players like Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent emulate what Clint Dempsey did. Enjoy retirement, Deuce.