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USMNT star Clint Dempsey retires from professional soccer

By Alex Butler
Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey (2) is defended by the Chicago Fire during the second half of the MLS game in 2017 at the Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/21639d55b62c351990a4a3fe7a26baac/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey (2) is defended by the Chicago Fire during the second half of the MLS game in 2017 at the Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- United States Men's National Team star Clint Dempsey announced his retirement from professional soccer.

Dempsey made the announcement Wednesday. He also posted a brief message on social media, writing: "Thank you, it's been real."

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"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 said in a release from the Seattle Sounders. "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."

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Dempsey, 35, began his senior career with the New England Revolution in 2004 after playing at Furman University. He went on to play from 2007 through 2012 for Fulham, before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. Dempsey signed with the Sounders in 2013. The striker from Texas has 57 goals in 141 international appearances for the United States.

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Dempsey's 57 international goals are tied for the United States' all-time men's record. He also had 79 goals and 45 assists in 209 MLS appearances.

"As far as I'm concerned, Clint Dempsey is the greatest player in the history of our country," Sounders FC general manager & president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said. "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. His service to our game deserves special recognition, and we know our fans will give him that prior to Saturday's match at CenturyLink Field."

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Thank you it’s been real. ✌️

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A post shared by Clint Dempsey (@clint_dempsey) on

The Sounders take on Sporting Kansas City at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Seattle. Dempsey had one goal and one assist in 14 appearances this season.

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