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Mathis announces his retirement



The Los Angeles Galaxy announced on Tuesday afternoon that midfielder Clint Mathis would be retiring after the club's friendly with Real Madrid on August 7th.

"It has been an amazing and exciting ride, full of moments and people that will stay with me forever," said Mathis in a press release. "I cannot thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me enough for all that you have done to help me enjoy such a fulfilling life in the sport of soccer.”

The 33-year-old midfielder ends a career in which he spent time with the Galaxy and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids and the New York Red Bulls.

In his 11 year MLS career, Mathis scored 61 goals in the regular season and 18 goals in the post season to go with one MLS Cup championship with Real Salt Lake in 2009.

Mathis has battled several injuries this season with Los Angeles, making only nine appearances for the club so far this season. 

In addition to MLS, the midfielder also played in Europe with Hanover 96 in the German Bundesliga and Ergotelis of the Greek Super League. Mathis was also a significant member of the US National Team in World Cup 2002 scoring in the team's 1-1 draw with South Korea. He ended his national team career scoring 12 goals in 46 appearances.


  1. I was in between Clint Mathis & Ricardo Clark in youth club (’80 squad…Clint ’77 team and Ricardo ’83). What was weird was that Clint was basically the 4th best guy on his club team until age 16—then the legend was born. We would stay after our own 90-minute matches in the 100 degree Hotlanta heat just to watch him put moves on sad-looking defenders. Thanks for the memories, Clint–you’re the reason Coach Neddo kept saying “you (me) still have a chance, Clint wasn’t Clint until he was 16.”

  2. Came late to this party because I was out of town but I have to comment, for what he was and what he could have been.
    -slalom run through an entire team
    -5 goals in a game
    -swerving free kick to win away against Honduras
    in qualifier for ’02
    -as per Shchors above,bending outside of the foot
    half the field pass to Wolff against Mexico
    -magnificent goal against S. Korea in ’02 WC
    -as a sub against Germany in ’02 WC putting a
    wonderful soft little chip across the box onto
    Sanneh’s head only to watch his header miss by
    inches at the far post
    -last year’s volley off a corner kick
    -any number of through and over the top killer
    -apparently humble, down to earth off the field
    -occasionally insane on the field demeanor

    Unique American vertical attacking player as good
    at making the killer pass as at finishing. I tuned in just to watch him play.

  3. Also, one of my favorite Mathis memories, he and Josh Wolff’s dismantling of Mexico in a frigid Columbus in a WC qualifier in 2001. One of the best US games ever, imo.

  4. I have to agree that Dempsey is no Mathis. He was simply the most outrageously creative player of his generation; perhaps of any US generation so far. Many of you mentioned some memorable moments from Cleatus’s colorful career. I will never forget the sublime first-time outside of the right foot swerving pass he put through for Josh Wolf to score in Columbus at the “Guerra la Fria” against Jorge Campos in 2001. I never remember being so cold and so happy at the same time. I also enjoyed his first time shot against Brazil (Americans never scored against Brazil until Clint’s goal) and his putting away his own rebound off the post against Germany. Cleatus! You were our LeTissier, our Ronaldinho, our Diego Forlan. Thanks for the memories! You will never be forgotten!

  5. There was something different about Clint when he came back to RSL in ’08. I felt he was more willing to fight for the team. A lot of fans didn’t want him back but his attitude and play on the field changed my mind at least. I’m glad I got my picture with him at the RSL Meet The Team Day last year. Thanks Clint!

  6. Yeah, that volley should have been MLS goal of the year.
    He got a lot of crap from a lot of RSL fans due to the left-over bitterness from his first run with the team in 2005, but it always surprised me that they could not see what he brought to the field for RSL all the way to the cup.
    Best of luck Clint!

  7. Cleetus is my all time favorite US player. I agree he did not fulfill his potential but man was he fun to watch. Being the Gamecock fan that I am I was able to watch him from college. What a player! Had the opportunity to hang out with him (and many Nats) in Birmingham, AL bar after a friendly against Ecuador prior to Japorea 02. He actually got red carded that game. He was so cool to talk to. I wish him well. Not sure coaching is in the plan but if so he should go back to South Carolina and take over that program. They need a change.

  8. I’ll always remember him for his fantastic years as a Metro, and the I love NY shirt. Shame he didn’t stick around until the Galaxy v RB game, he would of had an ovation if he would of been subbed in.

  9. His skill, courage, brashness, and bite in the attack are things that have not been seen in the USMNT since the ’02 world cup. Dempsey comes closest but he’s no Mathis. His presence on the field made any game more exciting. He will be missed.

  10. Favorite Mathis story, never seen the footage. Brought in late as a sub in Germany and scores within a few minutes, runs past the coach tapping his wrist as if a watch were there (i.e. it’s about time) and ends the display with some kind of crotch grab gesture.

  11. Clint will be missed indeed. I remember that amazing volley goal he had a few years back when he was at Redbulls. It was against the Galaxy and I believe it was Beckham’s first season. The Swamp was packed that night. I could not believe the form to be able to take that ball out of the air like that.

    He could have been so much more but you could say that about a lot of people. He was fun to watch and deserves credit for what he accomplished.

  12. We need to produce more players with the creativity that Clint Mathis has! Simply a brilliant talent by any measure. With his talent, he definately could have accomplished more and I would have loved to see it happen, but do not let that detract from his fantastic career.

  13. Legend – whatever anyone here says – I always watched when he was on the field and glad he got an MLS cup at the end of it all.

    South Korea goal – that’s why he’s here.

  14. Have to agree with you. I think this may also prove to be Landon Donovan’s fate. Look at Donovan’s situation in this transfer market. Everton wants him, and he wants to go there, but Everton doesn’t have the rumored $15 million price tag Donovan will carry to be released by MLS. The only EPL clubs that can don’t want/need him. Chelsea was on the radar for a while, needing a replacement for Cole. However, they ended up buying a quality player in Benayoun for a much better price of $7 million. Donovan’s new Galaxy contract won’t expire until 2013, at which time he will be 31, and have no value in the European market.

  15. Mr Mathis,
    Thanks for all the great goals, exciting plays, and USA results – love that goal in 2002. You da man.
    Good luck in the next chapter of your career.

  16. He was Clint Dempsey, before Clint Dempsey. He had that gunslinger mentality. IMO he could’ve been one of the better offensive american players in the 2000’s had he stayed healthy/not had such an attitude towards his coaches in europe.

  17. he was more potential than actual output, but for a period of time in the early 2000’s he was one of the best US soccer players period. I think the best way to describe him at his peak was a mix of donovan’s ability to slash through defenses, and dempseys ball work/desire to take people on. He picked up some injuries, possibly related to his fitness or lack thereof, and just never seemed to make the final jump and have everything click. He was a hell of a player when he was on

  18. Met him when he came to play in a local backyard game in our NJ hometown, the Walsh Cuo, There were plenty of other MLS players there, but he ran rings around them with his ball control and pace. This was pre 2002 WC, and he looked amazing. Plus he gave my son his jersey, so clearly a cool guy.

    We rooted for him after that, and he came so close to having a great career. As it, lots of could-have-beens. But still, he shined bright for a while,

  19. He was the first in MLS ridiculous policy of overvaluing and keeping American stars in the MLS. Bayern Munich wanted him but MLS would not let him go. He just was never the same after that. Kinda of like Kljestan and others

  20. The guy made me an MLS fan. I’d just moved to the NYC area in 2000 and went to a couple of MetroStars matches where Clint just dominated.

    For me his career is always a series of what-ifs: What if he hadn’t torn up his knee? What if he’d kept his attitude in check? What if he’d been a couple of years younger. In terms of his technical ability, he was a couple of years ahead of the rest of the USMNT player pool, a bridge between the Reyna/McBride generation and the Donovan/Beasley generation.

    But while his career will be remembered for his missed potential, he still had a fine career and I wish him the best in whatever he does in the future.


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