An 11-year career spanning back to 1998 comes to a close on Saturday, as longtime star Clint Mathis of the Los Angeles Galaxy will play in his last professional soccer match.
"First I would like to thank Jesus Christ for giving me the ability to play the game I love and to have such a long and fruitful career," Mathis said. I would also like to thank all of my family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff and fans for all the support that they have given me at every step of my soccer career. It has been an amazing and exciting ride, full of moments and people that will stay with me forever. 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 appeared in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea, along with current Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan, scoring a left-footed goal in the United States' group stage match against Korea. This was one of 12 international goals Mathis scored with the men's national team in 46 appearances. His international debut against Australia in 1999 was also the debut of Bruce Arena as head coach.
"I have had the pleasure of coaching Clint with both the National Team and in MLS with the Galaxy and Red Bulls," Arena said, "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
at the 2002 World Cup. We will miss Clint and are indebted to his contributions to MLS and U.S. Soccer." South Korea
He had three separate stints with the Galaxy, from 1998-2000, to begin the 2007 season, and once again he was picked up this last offseason from Real Salt Lake. He won his only MLS cup with Salt Lake. Mathis had a fantastic rookie season with the Galaxy, scoring five goals and recording 10 assists, as part of a team that set the MLS record for goals at 85. He was traded to New York in 2000 as the Galaxy made room for Mexican star Luis Hernandez. Though Galaxy fans remember him fondly, his participation in last years MLS cup, converting a penalty in the shootout that decided the game, is certainly a bitter memory.
His final match shall be Saturday's friendly against Real Madrid, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PDT at the Rose Bowl.