Daily Sports Smile: Former USMNT star Clint Dempsey surprised with Hall of Fame reveal

U.S. Men's National team Clint Dempsey (8) dribbles up field against Jamaica during the first half of their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying game at Crew Stadium, September 11, 2012.
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Clint Dempsey is heading to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. The former U.S. men’s national team forward conquered the pitch throughout his career. Now, he will forever be remembered among the soccer greats.

On Sunday, Dempsey got the call in a special way. While appearing as a CBS Sports analyst on the network’s The Golazo Show, Dempsey received a touching gift from U.S. soccer.

The gift was a red USA scarf and it held a significant message. Dempsey was told that he was elected to the Hall of Fame and was later met with confetti celebration in studio.

Dempsey joins former U.S. women’s national team members Hope Solo and Shannon Boxx in the star-studded 2022 class.

“I just want to thank everyone that voted, all my teammates and coaches that I played with,” Dempsey said after reflecting on the honor. “I really enjoyed that experience and thank ya’ll.”

Dempsey turned in a stellar career. He made 141 appearances and scored 57 international goals with the national team. He also became the first USMNT player to score in three FIFA World Cups. Collectively, he was also named U.S. Soccer Men’s Athlete of the Year three times.

In Major League Soccer play, Dempsey also shined on the pitch. He played for the New England Revolution and the Seattle Sounders in his career. Dempsey finished with 72 goals and 42 assists in 186 games played.

Dempsey received praise from several high-profile athletes. Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Lewis congratulated Dempsey on the Inside the NFL set.

“Clint Dempsey, congratulations man,” Lewis said. “The highest honor that you can receive in any sport. Welcome home.”

Dempsey will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on May 21. He relayed the message to Solo and Boxx as well on the telecast. Both were grateful for the opportunity to be recognized.

Solo was a star goalie and two-time gold medalist for the USWNT squads. Boxx spent 12 years with the national team and scored 27 goals as one of the top defensive midfielders.