US football star Clint Dempsey announces retirement

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New York, Aug 30 (IANS) Clint Dempsey, whose 57 goals as a member of the United States’ national football team put him in a tie for the first place on the all-time list, has announced his retirement from the sport.

The Seattle Sounders, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club he played for from 2013 to 2018, issued a press release with a statement by the 35-year-old forward on Wednesday, reports Efe news.

“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 was quoted as saying. “I’d like to thank all of the teammates, coaches and support staff that I’ve worked with throughout my career,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey played seven seasons in England’s Premier League as a member of Fulham (2007-2012), where he set a club record for most goals in a single season (17) in 2011-2012, and Tottenham (2012-2013).

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The Texas native had played for the MLS’s New England Revolution before heading for Europe and competed for the Sounders after his return.

Dempsey served as a captain of the US national team and is the player with the third-most caps (141) in the squad’s history after Coby Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157).

His 43 World Cup qualifying caps are the most in US men’s soccer history, while his 18 goals in World Cup qualifying matches place him in a tie for the first place on all-time with Jozy Altidore.

Overall, he scored 57 goals in his international career, leaving him tied with Donovan.

Dempsey, who missed the latter part of the 2016 MLS season due to an irregular heartbeat, was named the winner of the 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award after leading the Sounders in scoring 12 league goals.

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His 57 Premier League goals are the most ever by an American player.

–IANS

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