Clint Dempsey Retires Atop the American Record Books

Clint Dempsey Retires Atop the American Record Books

The combative and prolific United States national team striker Clint Dempsey is retiring from soccer, according to the Seattle Sounders, his M.L.S. club.

The Sounders announced Wednesday that Dempsey — one of the most successful American soccer exports to Europe and a national-team mainstay who played and scored in three World Cups — has decided to walk away immediately, even though the M.L.S. regular season runs through the end of October.

“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, 35, said in a statement released by the 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.”

Dempsey, a native Texan widely referred to within the game as “Deuce,” returned to M.L.S. in a lucrative deal with Seattle in August 2013 after scoring a 57 goals in the English Premier League, a record for an American, in his stints with Fulham and Tottenham.

The Stoke City veteran Geoff Cameron told The New York Times in a January interview that Dempsey’s swagger and defiant nature made him a role model to American field players, such as Cameron, who followed Dempsey to England and other top leagues abroad.

“You had Timmy, Kasey Keller, Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan — Americans have been known over here for the quality of our keepers,” Cameron said, referring to Tim Howard and others. “But no one really respects us players.

“Clint came over here and changed the game for us. He did it with a chip on his shoulder and he’s given me the encouragement to say, ‘I’m American, so what?’”