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Clinton Drew "Clint" Dempsey (born March 9, 1983, in ) is an American soccer player who plays for Fulham in the English Premier League and for the United States national team.

Youth

Dempsey was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, a small town roughly halfway between Dallasmarker and Houstonmarker. For much of his childhood, Dempsey's family lived in a trailer park, where Clint and his siblings grew up playing soccer with the local Mexicanmarker immigrant children.

His older brother Ryan was offered a tryout for the Dallas Texans, one of America's elite youth soccer clubs, but young Clint, who had come along, was noticed and recruited while passing time juggling a ball on the sidelines. Dempsey became a standout on the team at an early age, but had to quit due to his poor family's time and money constraints as his eldest sister Jennifer was becoming a ranked youth tennis player. But several parents of his teammates with the Texans offered to assist the Dempseys with expenses and travel, allowing him to rejoin the club. He went on to be the captain and high scorer of the Texans and was honored with MVP in the Tampa Bay Sun Bowl tournament.

Dempsey studied the play of Argentina, especially Diego Maradona. Clint was heartbroken when the news came to Nacogdoches that Maradona would not be playing in the 1994 FIFA World Cup game played in the Cotton Bowlmarker.

Dempsey attended Furman Universitymarker as a health and exercise major and a key player for the Paladins. In his three seasons at Furman, Dempsey started 61 out of 62 games in central midfield and scored 17 goals.

Club career

New England Revolution

Dempsey was drafted eighth in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. Playing as an attacking central midfielder, he scored seven goals in his rookie season and was named MLS Rookie of the Year, despite missing time due to a broken jaw. He missed the decisive penalty kick in a shootout against D.C. United that denied the Revolution a trip to the MLS Cup. In 2005, he scored 10 goals and had nine assists, including five game-winning goals (third best in MLS). Dempsey also contributed in that year's MLS All-Star Game by assisting on the game-winning goal against his future club, Fulham. Dempsey scored the vital goal against the Chicago Fire to put the Revs into MLS Cup 2005. He was named to the MLS Best XI.

It was widely speculated that Dempsey would eventually leave New England for a European club. He trained with Dutch team Feyenoord and stated that "there are some teams interested in the EPL". In August 2006, Charlton Athletic offered a transfer fee for Dempsey of $1.5 million. The offer was rejected by MLS, disappointing Dempsey who felt the move was necessary for him to continue improving. Dempsey stated that he would not stay in MLS when his contract ran out in late 2007, regardless of salary.
Dempsey playing for Fulham in 2007.


Fulham

In December 2006, Fulham offered MLS a $4 million transfer fee for Dempsey, then the largest amount ever offered for an MLS player. The league agreed to the transfer; however, Dempsey still needed to receive a work permit from the United Kingdom Home Office. On January 10, 2007, the Home Office granted Dempsey the work permit, thus allowing him to play in England.

Dempsey made his first appearance for Fulham shortly thereafter, coming on as a late substitute in Fulham's match against Tottenham Hotspur on January 20, 2007. However, for the remainder of the spring of 2007 Dempsey was used only sparingly by a relegation-threatened Fulham. On May 5, 2007, Dempsey scored his first and only goal of the 2006-07 season for Fulham after coming on as a 54th minute substitute against Liverpool, in a vital match which Fulham won 1-0. The goal ensured Fulham's top flight status for the 2007-08 season.

Dempsey was a key part of the starting squad for Fulham during the 2007-08 Premier League season. His six goals, all scored in the Premier League, made him Fulham's top scorer in league play and tied for the club lead in all competitions. In May 2008, Dempsey received an automatic contract extension from Fulham that would have kept him at the club through 2010.

Dempsey scored his first goal on the 2008-2009 campaign on October 26, 2008, against Portsmouth. Coming on as a 70th-minute sub, Dempsey volleyed home an Erik Nevland cross past David James to tie the game at 1-1. On December 28, 2008, Dempsey started in the SW6 Derby against Chelsea and scored both goals for Fulham, one a chest and flick past Petr Čech that put Fulham ahead, and the other an 89th-minute equalizing header off a Simon Davies corner. On April 12, 2009, Dempsey was voted Man of the Match in a 3-1 win over Manchester City at Eastlandsmarker, in which he scored two goals.

On August 13, 2009, Dempsey signed a contract extension to remain with Fulham through 2013. On August 20, 2009, he scored his first goal in European competition, in the newly formed Europa League, netting Fulham's second goal in a 3–1 win against Amkar Perm in the play-off round.

International career

Dempsey first played for the American national team at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emiratesmarker. He made his first appearance with the senior team on November 17, 2004 against Jamaica. On May 2, 2006, he was named to the U.S. roster for the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament in Germany. He currently has 59 caps with the senior team and has recorded 17 goals, including the only goal by a U.S. player in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, an 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.

Dempsey has established himself as a first-choice player with the national team when healthy and is frequently lined up as a striker due to his scoring threat and aerial ability. 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.

Through the first half of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Dempsey experienced a dip in form, leading some to doubt his first-choice status with the national team. However, Dempsey turned his fortunes radically 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, which, 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 awarded as the Man of the Match for his performance. Dempsey scored in his third straight game in the Confederations Cup Final against Brazil, redirecting a Jonathan Spector cross in the 10th minute to open the scoring. He was awarded the Bronze Ball, awarded to the third best individual in the tournament, for his performance, noticeably in tears over his disappointment in losing the final as he accepted the award. He ended the World Cup qualifying campaign as the team's joint top scorer (with Landon Donovan) behind Jozy Altidore with 5 goals in 13 matches.

Playing style

Known for his toughness, Dempsey played two games with a broken jaw in 2004 before the team trainer diagnosed it, and upon his return, he played through the pain of a sprained ankle. Despite usually playing in wide positions, he frequently scores close-range goals and has scored repeatedly with diving headers in crowded situations. His tenacity in midfield combined with his audacious dribbling skills frequently results in opponents fouling him. He was suspended by the New England Revolution for two weeks in March 2006 for a fist fight with teammate Joe Franchino during a practice game and was twice suspended by the league during the 2006 season for violent conduct against opponents.

Dempsey is a versatile attacking midfielder normally played on the left or right for Fulham and the United States. However, he has proven to be more of a threat the closer to goal he gets. His goals against Egypt and Spain in the Confederations Cup came almost immediately after being moved to forward by a substitution from Bob Bradley.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup* Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
New England Revolution 2004 24 7 0 0 0 0 24 7
2005 26 10 0 0 0 0 26 10
2006 21 8 0 0 0 0 21 8
Total 71 25 0 0 0 0 71 25
Fulham 2006–07 10 1 2 0 0 0 12 1
2007–08 36 6 4 0 0 0 40 6
2008–09 35 7 6 1 0 0 41 8
2009–10 13 5 0 0 5 1 18 6
Total 94 19 12 1 5 1 111 21
Career total 165 44 12 1 5 1 182 46
Statistics accurate as of match played 25 November 2009

(* FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield)

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 2005-05-28 Chicago, Illinoismarker 1–2 1–2 Friendly match
2 2005-07-07 Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker 1–1 4–1 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
3 2006-02-10 San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker 2–0 3–2 Friendly match
4 2006-03-01 Kaiserslauternmarker, Germanymarker 1–0 1–0 Friendly match
5 2006-05-26 Cleveland, Ohiomarker 2–0 2–0 Friendly match
6 2006-06-22 Nurembergmarker, Germanymarker 1–1 1–2 2006 FIFA World Cup
7 2007-06-02 San Jose, Californiamarker 3–1 4–1 Friendly match
8 2007-06-07 Carson, Californiamarker 1–0 1–0 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup
9 2007-09-08 Chicago, Illinoismarker 2–2 2–4 Friendly match
10 2008-06-15 Carson, Californiamarker 1–0 8–0 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
11 5–0
12 2008-09-06 Havanamarker, Cubamarker 1–0 1–0 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
13 2008-09-10 Bridgeview, Illinoismarker 2–0 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
14 2009-06-21 Rustenburgmarker, South Africa 3–0 3–0 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
15 2009-06-24 Bloemfonteinmarker, South Africa 2–0 2–0 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
16 2009-06-28 Johannesburgmarker, South Africa 1–0 2–3 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
17 2009-09-05 Sandymarker, Utahmarker 1–1 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying


Honours

International



Individual



Music

One of Dempsey's passions outside of soccer is hip hop music. Using the alias "Deuce", he, along with fellow Texas rappers XO and the late Houston rapper Big Hawk from the Screwed Up Click, are featured rapping the song "Don't Tread On Me" in a Nikemarker football advertising campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with the intention to showcase both the sport's working-class roots and the United States team ahead of the World Cup. The song's video is dedicated to his sister Jennifer, who, at age 16, was suddenly struck with a fatal brain aneurysm. At Dempsey's request, the video ends with a shot of him placing a flower at her grave.

References



External links




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