He retires tied with Landon Donovan as all-time USA leading scorer with 57 goals, the record for World Cup qualifying goals (18) and Confederation Cup goals (3), and tied with Eric Wynalda for Copa America goals. Dempsey also assisted on 21 goals. Not included in the stats is that it was a rebound from his shot that Donovan finished in the final seconds against Algeria to send the USA into the second round of the 2010 World Cup.
What made Dempsey great was his creativity and unpredictability, his clever feints and quick moves -- the knack for producing the unexpected, and striking when the USA needed it most.
Most of Dempsey's goals, 41 of them, came official competition. His friendly goals included his first, in a loss to England in 2005, the gamewinner in the USA's first win of Italy (1-0, in 2012 in Genoa), and the third and fourth goals in a 4-3 win over Germany in 2013.
Dempsey's first World Cup goal in a 2-1 loss to Ghana as the USA exited in the first round of the 2006 World Cup. His second came in the 1-1 tie to open the 2010 World Cup against England that paved the way for the USA to win group. The goal is remembered for the butter fingers of England goalkeeper Robert Green, but it's impressive how Dempsey tricks and spins his way past Steven Gerrard before a hard left-footed 25-yard strike that bounces twice before reaching Green.
At the 2014 World Cup, Dempsey scored in the first minute of the 2-1 opening win over Ghana and in the 2-2 tie against Portugal that earned the USA second-round passage.
Of the many highlights in Dempsey's career, particularly outstanding was his Bronze Ball performance when the USA finished second to Brazil at the 2009 Confederations Cup. He scored in the 3-2 final loss, in the final group stage win, a 3-0 over Egypt, and in a 2-0 semifinal win over European champion Spain, which had been undefeated in its 35 previous games.
Clint Dempsey's 57 U.S. Goals
18 WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
13 GOLD CUP
4 WORLD CUP
3 COPA AMERICA
(U.S. record-tie with Eric Wynalda)
3 2016 (Centenario)
3 CONFEDERATIONS CUP