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Clint Mathis    

Retired American soccer player

Mathis was drafted sixth overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first round of the 1998 MLS College Draft. After two and a half years with Los Angeles, Mathis was awarded to the MetroStars in the dispersal draft after the Galaxy signed Mexican forward Luis Hernández.

Mathis immediately took his game to a new level, flashing an shirt after scoring goals and breaking the MLS record by scoring five goals in a game against the Dallas Burn on August 26, 2000. He finished second in the league in scoring with 16 goals and 14 assists and was named to the MLS Best XI. 2001 saw Mathis score seven goals in his first six games, including the league's eventual Goal of the Year on a half-field run against Dallas. In June, he tore his ACL, which ended his season. He never recovered his pre-injury form and scored only 13 goals in his remaining two seasons with the MetroStars.

After the 2002 MLS season, elite German club Bayern Munich attempted to acquire Mathis but was blocked by MLS. Mathis was furious and played poorly for the rest of his time in MLS. In 2004, Mathis left the MetroStars to sign on a free transfer with Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga. He finished his Metro career with 33 goals in league play and 39 in all competitions, both marks second-best in team history to Giovanni Savarese.

Mathis played well in his first season in Germany, scoring on his debut. He scored 4 goals in his first 5 games. But his Hannover coach was fired and replaced. And in his second Bundesliga season the coach kept him often on the bench. On September 25, 2004 upon entering a game as a very late substitute and scoring almost immediately the game-winning goal, Mathis ran to the sideline and tapped his watch at the new Hannover coach, Ewald Lienen. Mathis started the next game but afterwards never played with the first team again. In December he was transferred back to MLS, joining expansion club Real Salt Lake.

Mathis said he returned to fulfill a promise made to RSL head coach John Ellinger. His initial season in Utah was a major disappointment, as Mathis only managed to score three goals the entire year. However, when he did score, he did so in style: all three goals earned praise as MLS Goal of the Week. In December 2005, he was traded to Colorado in exchange for Jeff Cunningham.

On March 29, 2007, Mathis was traded from the Colorado Rapids to Red Bull New York for a fourth-round draft pick in 2008 and a conditional pick in 2009. In his first home game, he notched a goal and an assist to lead New York to a 3-0 rout of FC Dallas. Clint is currently the franchise's second All-Time scorer in all competitions with 45 goals. He was traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy on November 19, 2007, for a third round pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft.[1] He made his debut for the Galaxy in a friendly at Telstra Stadium against Sydney FC in front of 80,000 fans. He scored the first goal in the Galaxy's match versus Wellington Phoenix.

In January 2008, during the European transfer window he left the Galaxy, signing with Ergotelis in Greece. Ergotelis sat at the bottom of the table in the Greek First Division. Playing in a recent match, and down 2-1, Ergotelis manager used Mathis who made his debut at the club as his team's third substitute in the 72 minute. In the 91 minute of stoppage time down a goal, the ball popped to Mathis outside the box and he struck a powerful left footed volley that the keeper could only deflect into the back of the net, earning a crucial point against fellow relegation battlers Apollon Kalamarias.

Real Salt Lake signed Mathis in August, 2008. They traded a 3rd or 4th round draft pick in the 2010 Superdraft (depending on appearances) to gain his rights from Los Angeles Galaxy.

After 11 years in Major League Soccer, Mathis won the MLS Cup with Real Salt Lake, defeating Los Angeles Galaxy in a 1 - 1 draw that was decided in overtime by penalties, with Mathis scoring the first penalty kick goal.

During the January 14th MLS SuperDraft, Mathis returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy in a trade involving draft picks.

On August 3, 2010, Mathis announced he will retire from professional soccer after the Galaxy's exhibition match against Real Madrid on Saturday August 7, 2010.

[edit] International

Mathis earned his first cap for the U.S. national team on November 6, 1998, against Australia. His first goal came on November 15, 2000, in a 4-0 win over Barbados.[2] He was a contributor for the United States national team in the early stages of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, scoring the game-winning goal against Honduras and setting up Josh Wolff's game-winning goal against Costa Rica.

At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Mathis shaved his hair into a mohawk and scored a goal in the United States' 1-1 draw with South Korea.

[edit]

 

Dempsey first played for the American national team at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. He made his first appearance with the senior team on November 17, 2004 against Jamaica. He currently has 66 caps with the senior team and has recorded 19 goals, having established himself as a first-choice player when healthy. He has frequently lined up as a striker  due to his scoring threat and aerial ability, but his preferred and more normal role is on the wing. He won the highest individual honor in American soccer when he was named Honda Player of the Year for 2006, beating Fulham teammates Kasey Keller and Brian McBride in a poll of sportswriters. Dempsey received 237 points in voting by 207 sports journalists to claim the award.

On May 2, 2006, Dempsey was named to the U.S. roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament in Germany. He became the only American player to score a goal in the tournament with his equalizing goal in the Americans' eventual 2–1 loss to Ghana.

In the United States' opening 2010 World Cup qualifier, Dempsey recorded the fastest goal in U.S. qualifying history with a chest trap and sliding shot 53 seconds into a 8–0 defeat of Barbados. But thereafter, Dempsey experienced a dip in form leading some to doubt his first-choice status with the national team. However, Dempsey turned his fortunes around in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. In the final group stage match against Egypt, Dempsey scored a trademark diving header off a Jonathan Spector cross, making the final result 3–0. This, combined with Brazil's 3–0 victory against Italy in the other group match that was being played simultaneously, put the U.S. through to the semifinals. In the semi-final match against Spain, Dempsey scored to put the USA up 2–0 to send them to the finals. He was named the Man of the Match for his performance. Dempsey scored in his third straight game in the Confederations Cup Final against Brazil, redirecting a similar cross from Spector in the 10th minute to open the scoring. Following the loss, he was awarded the Bronze Ball as the tournament's 3rd best performer. He ended the World Cup qualifying campaign tied with Landon Donovan as the team's 2nd top scorer, behind Jozy Altidore, with five goals in thirteen matches.

On June 12, 2010, Dempsey became the second American (after Brian McBride) to score in more than one World Cup when he scored the equalizer goal against England in the Americans' first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup after the English goalkeeper Robert Green made a major error.

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