Clint Dempsey retires after 15 year career

Adam Shefet, Sports Copy Editor

America’s most decorated soccer player, Clint Dempsey, announced his retirement from professional soccer in late August. The former US national team captain ended his career with the Seattle Sounders, after 15 years at four different clubs.

“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…It has always been my dream to make it as a pro. I’m grateful to have been on this ride,” said Dempsey.

Dempsey has played with the New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer (MLS) and Fulham F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in the English Premier League (EPL).  He spent seven years in England, scoring a total of 57 goals, 50 of them with Fulham.

The 2011-2012 season was Dempsey’s best with Fulham. He scored a single-season club record of 17 goals and was voted the fourth-best player of that season. Dempsey also lead Fulham to the final of the Europa League. The Europa League is a competition that teams qualify for based on their placing in their domestic leagues.

“Clint Dempsey has been one of the most impactful players in the history of the sport in our country. From his early success with the New England Revolution to his achievements both as a top player in the English Premier League and for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Clint showed us that there are no limits for an American player,” said Don Garber, MLS commissioner.

While playing for the U.S. national team, Dempsey scored 57 goals in 141 appearances. Tied most with former teammate, Landon Donovan, for top all-time goal-scorer. He has appeared  in three separate World Cups, scoring in each, the only player in US history to achieve the feat.

“This is the end of an era for American soccer. He was a great player who did some great things,” said Zach Peterman, sophomore.

Once Dempsey’s retirement was announced, the team he had most recently played for, the Seattle Sounders, paid tribute to him before their home game at CenturyLink Field. Dempsey walked onto the field with his wife and four kids and was praised for his contributions to the Seattle club. Career highlights and video tributes were played on the big screen and Dempsey applauded along and saluted the crowd that had cheered him on for the past five years, for the last time.

“Y’all have always made me feel at home, and it is something that I will always remember,” said Dempsey.