BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Former US national team midfielder Clint Mathis announced his retirement today from soccer and said that this Sunday's LA Galaxy game against Real Madrid will be the final game of his career.
"It has been an amazing and exciting ride, full of moments and people that will stay with me forever," Mathis said 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."
Mathis' career with the US national team was short lived but during his time with the team, he was one of the most explosive players in the team's history.
He earned his first cap in a friendly in 1998 against Australia and was an important player during the 2002 cycle.
Mathis' most lasting image was when he showed up at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea with a mohawk haircut. It turned out to be an iconic image for a team that would advance to the quarterfinals.
He would score the most important goal of his career in that World Cup against the co-hosts South Korea in a 1-1 draw. Mathis was able to handle a beautiful pass from John O'Brien and fired it home just inside the box.
The Georgia native's club career was up and down. He was an MLS journeyman who played with four different teams including multiple stints at Real Salt Lake, Red Bull/Metrostars, and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Mathis also played professionally in Europe. He is most known for his time with Hannover in 2004 where he would play well but left after an infamous dispute with coach Ewald Lienen.
In 2008, Mathis would return to Europe to play in Greece with Ergotelis. He would only play eight times with the club and tallied just a single goal.
However his final full season as a professional ended on a high note as he won the MLS Cup with Real Salt Lake.
Mathis would contribute to his team's title as he scored the first goal in the shootout following a 1-1 stalemate.