Clint Dempsey was never one for the media spotlight during an illustrious playing career that saw him become one of the US men's national team's best-ever players.
That's what makes his interview on "The Crack Podcast", hosted by former USMNT teammates DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu and Futbolr Clothing's Mabricio “Mookie” Wilson, such a must-listen. "Deuce" chats for over an hour, opening up on his time in the Premier League and his decision to retire in 2018.
Regarding his retirement, which he announced halfway through the 2018 season with the Seattle Sounders, Dempsey said he's always been at peace with that call. He accomplished everything he set out to do and successfully returned from a pair of heart procedures that nearly ended his career in 2017.
“Dealing with those two heart procedures ... it wasn’t life-threatening but it was career-threatening," Dempsey said. "I felt like I couldn’t go at 100 percent. I don’t know if it was mentally or if it was just what my body was telling me.
"It was like my body was stuck in a certain gear. You couldn’t push it as hard as I could before. It almost felt like being on a bicycle and you can’t put it in the next gear. Having that, dealing with the politics, dealing with your body getting older and more difficult to bounce back and the grind of it, it wasn’t as enjoyable. It was good to take a step back and do things that I enjoy doing ... Playing for club and country, you don’t have much time to enjoy things outside the game. To keep going and operating at that high level, you have to be all in.”
Now 38 years old, Dempsey is tied with Landon Donovan atop the USMNT's goals scored leaderboard with 57. He also appeared in 218 Premier League matches with Tottenham and Fulham, scoring 57 goals and dishing out 21 assists. And in 186 career MLS games spanning time with Seattle and the New England Revolution, Dempsey has 72 goals and 42 assists.
As for what he's up to in retirement? Dempsey revealed he's re-located near his wife's hometown in North Carolina, where they're focused on raising their five children and enjoying time outside of soccer.
"Makin' babies, huntin', fishin', golfin' and being an Uber driver for these kids, man, I'll tell you what," Dempsey said. "All [the kids are] playing the game and they'll do a bit of other stuff here and there, too, just to get them well-rounded and figure out what they're passionate about. Don't want to try and push them in one direction, but it's like, if there's one thing I can help you in, the [soccer] direction, I can help you a little bit more."
We highly recommend listening to the full interview, which you can find above or here.