Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Galaxy Legend Clint Mathis to Play His Final Game on August 7 Against Real Madrid

Now in his third stint with the LA Galaxy, MLS and U.S. Soccer legend Clint Mathis announced today that he has elected to retire from the sport of soccer. Mathis will make one last appearance for the club on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, the site of his MLS debut on March 21, 1998, when the Galaxy take on Real Madrid.

Click here to read the complete press release announcing Clint's decision and continue below to read the reaction of a collection of his former coaches.

Mark Berson – Mathis’ coach at the University of South Carolina (1994-1997)
“Clint Mathis has been one of the great personalities in American soccer throughout his career. Clint has been an exciting, dynamic and flamboyant attacking force out on the field. He has excelled on the youth, collegiate, professional and full international level with the U.S. World Cup Team. Clint has always been a person who cared deeply about people. Each community in which he has lived has benefited from his involvement with charities and youth work. Clint was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 and all of the Gamecock Soccer Nation thank him for his contributions to the game and we wish him and his family the very best.”

Bruce Arena – Mathis’ coach with the U.S. National Team (1998-2005), New York Red Bulls (2007) and LA Galaxy (2010)
“I have had the pleasure of coaching Clint with both the National Team and in MLS with the Galaxy and Red Bulls and we will miss having his presence with the club for the rest of the season. In his prime he was as good a goal scorer as our country has ever produced, as evidenced by his incredible goal against South Korea at the 2002 World Cup. We will miss Clint and are indebted to his contributions to MLS and U.S. Soccer.”

Octavio Zambrano – Mathis’ coach with the LA Galaxy (1998-1999) and MetroStars (2000-2002)
"Clint is one of the top three most creative players that this country has ever produced. He was good in every aspect of the game - he could shoot with both feet without any problems, his heading ability was very good, he could score as well as pass, and if required to do so, he could defend as well. What made him different was that he was such a clutch player. He could always get a goal when the team really needed it."

Sigi Schmid – Mathis’ coach with the LA Galaxy (1999-2000)
“It was a pleasure coaching Clint, especially during his breakout year, and seeing him go on and have such a successful career. I wish him all the best.”

Bob Bradley – Mathis’ coach with the MetroStars (2003)
“Clint was a real talent capable of doing exciting things on the field, and along with his personality he brought some qualities that few American players have possessed. During his career he played a significant role for the national team and contributed a great deal to the development of MLS. We certainly wish him the best.”

John Ellinger – Mathis’ coach with Real Salt Lake (2005)
“Clint was that American player who brought that brashness, that energy. He was bold. He always played with a chip on his shoulder. Not only did he not want to lose, but he never felt that he was going to lose. As his career moved forward and he played in the World Cup in 2002, I think he was that player everybody was looking at who could always have an impact in the game. Whether he was starting at the national team level or as a sub, he would come in and have a positive impact in the game. There isn’t a referee that didn’t know Clint. He had that way about him that he was going to get a point across and he was going to do it in a way that only Clint had the style to do. But, there was just something about Clint… he was the guy you wanted on your team to drive the bus. That was Clint.”

Jason Kreis – Mathis’ teammate with Real Salt Lake (2005) and the U.S. National Team (1998-2000), and his coach with Real Salt Lake (2008-2009)
“Even though Clint was a younger player than me, I have always admired his unparalleled abilities on the field. He was a fantastic player, with a fantastic competitive spirit, and someone that has always been capable of making the really special plays. At his best, he was truly fun to watch. He was an integral piece of the rebuilding of our club here at Real Salt Lake since rejoining us in 2008, and was a huge factor in the changing of our competitive spirit. I am so pleased that he can retire knowing that he was part of something incredibly special and truly historic – a Championship winning team. I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors although I already know there are huge successes right around the corner for him because I strongly believe that good things always happen to and for good people, and he is not a good person, he is a great one!”

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