Clint Dempsey Profile
|Born||Mar 09, 1983|
|Birthplace||Nacogdoches, Texas, United States|
Clint Dempsey is a retired American soccer player who played as a midfielder/forward for clubs in America and England as well as the USA national side.
He began his professional career with New England Revolution in 2004, earning a move to Premier League side Fulham in 2007.
He shone with the west Londoners and moved to Tottenham in the summer of 2013. However, the move did not prove a success and, after one year and 29 Premier League appearances, he moved back to the US to sign for Seattle Sounders.
He briefly returned to Fulham on a two-month loan deal in January 2014, failing to add to his goal tally in seven appearances for the club.
Dempsey played for the Seattle Sounders from 2013 until his retirement in 2018, making 136 appearances for the Washington-based franchise.
He was part of the Fulham side that lost 2-1 after extra-time in the final of the 2009/10 Europa League. He won the MLS Cup with Seattle in 2016 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the USA in 2005, 2007 and 2017.
He played 142 times for the United States national side, scoring 57 goals and is regarded as one of the best players ever to feature for the Stars and Stripes.
The early years
Dempsey grew up in the Texan city of Nacogdoches and played his youth football for Dallas Texans. He then featured for Furman Paladins between 2001 and 2003 while at Furman University.
His performances at college made a few MLS sides take note and New England Revolution selected him in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.
In his first season with New England, Dempsey started 23 of 24 games and was named rookie of the year after helping his club reach the Eastern Conference finals.
The 2005 season saw him score 10 goals and contribute nine assists as the Revolution made it all the way to the MLS Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to LA Galaxy.
He scored eight goals the following year and again helped his side reach the MLS Cup final.
However, he missed much of the play-offs due to injury and only made an appearance from the bench in the final where they again suffered disappointment with a penalty shootout defeat to Houston.
Move to Fulham
Dempsey signed for Fulham in January 2007 after the west London club paid the MLS a then record amount of $4million to secure the move.
He joined fellow USA internationals Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra at Craven Cottage and made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham on January 20.
His first goal came on May 5, when he bagged the only goal of the game as the Cottagers beat Liverpool. That saved the club from relegation and guaranteed the American a place in club folklore.
Over the next five seasons, Dempsey became a regular starter, making 184 Premier League appearances and 225 in all competitions.
After enjoying 36 league outings in 2007/08, he penned a new deal with Fulham until the summer of 2010 and upped his goal tally to eight in 2008/09.
He scored twice in the west London derby against Chelsea late in December 2008 and ended as the club's joint top-scorer with Andrew Johnson.
The pair netted just seven times each but Fulham finished seventh - the highest finish in the club's history - to earn a spot in the following season's Europa League.
In the summer of 2009, Dempsey extended his deal until 2013 and opened his account for the new season by scoring against Amkar Perm in the Europa League play-off round.
In January 2010, he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury that kept him out for two months but he returned to score a spectacular winner as Fulham beat Juventus to progress to the Europa League quarter-finals.
He came on in the 55th minute of the Europa League final but could not prevent Fulham losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid after extra-time.
The 2010/11 season saw Dempsey become the first American to score 10 goals in a Premier League season as he finished with 12 in the league and 13 in all competitions. He was voted Fulham's Player of the Season by the fans and ended up as the club's leading goalscorer.
The 2011/12 campaign was Dempsey's final full season for Fulham and he signed off in stunning fashion, scoring the first Premier League hat-trick by an American.
That came against Newcastle in January 2012 while he also netted a hat-trick in an FA Cup clash with Charlton Athletic earlier in the same month.
He scored 17 in the league and 23 in all competitions and talks opened about a new deal. However, in the summer of 2013, he was sold to Tottenham for Â£6million.
Tottenham years and move to MLS
Dempsey penned a three-year deal with Tottenham and made his mark early by scoring what turned out to be the winner in a 3-2 victory at Manchester United. It was the first time Spurs had won at Old Trafford in 23 years.
He made 22 Premier League starts among 29 appearances but scored only seven goals while notching another five in cup competitions.
He scored against Manchester United once again in a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and netted twice against Swiss side FC Basel in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals to send the match into extra-time. Spurs eventually lost the match on penalties.
Although under contract for another two years at Spurs, he returned to the USA when Seattle Sounders bought him in August 2013.
He signed a four-year deal with Seattle and scored one goal from nine outings in his first season for the club.
He made a surprise return to Fulham on a two-month loan deal in January 2014 but did not score in seven appearances.
His first full season for Seattle saw Dempsey bag 15 MLS goals and record 10 assists, while scoring a hat-trick against Portland Timbers. He scored 10 goals in 2015 and eight the following year.
In June 2015, Dempsey was sent off for ripping up the referee's notebook in protest at the dismissal of team-mate Michael Azira, receiving a two-year ban from the competition and a three-game MLS ban.
On August 7, 2016 he scored a hat-trick against Orlando City but was then diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and forced to miss the rest of the season.
He was cleared to play in the 2017 MLS season and ended up with 12 goals, earning him the accolade of MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
He made 14 appearances in the 2018 campaign before announcing his retirement from playing on August 29, 2018.
International career with the United States
Dempsey made his debut for the US national team in November 2004 in a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica.
In May 2005 he bagged his first international goal, scoring in a 2-1 loss to England.
He was selected for the 2006 World Cup and was the only US player to score a goal as they crashed out of the tournament at the group stage.
He was part of the USA side that won the 2005 and 2007 Gold Cup, scoring a goal in each tournament.
He scored three goals in the 2009 Confederations Cup, including one in the final as the USA lost out to Brazil.
Dempsey was selected for the 2010 World Cup and scored his side's equaliser in their 1-1 draw with England in the group stage. The USA went on to be eliminated by Ghana in the round of 16.
His three goals played a huge part in the USA's run to the 2011 Gold Cup final, where they went down 4-2 to Mexico.
He continued to score with regularity as the US qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and was handed the captain's armband for the tournament.
He scored twice in Brazil as the US reached the last 16 only to be knocked out by Belgium after extra-time.
Although the US finished fourth in the 2015 Gold Cup, it was a personal triumph for Dempsey who scored seven times in the tournament, including his first international hat-trick against Cuba.
Dempsey started all three group stage games of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, scoring three times as his side finished fourth.
He was initially left out of coach Bruce Arena's 23-man squad for the 2017 Gold Cup but was called up as a replacement for Dom Dwyer.
He made an impression from the bench as they beat Costa Rica 2-0 in the semi-finals, producing a goal and an assist, and again came off the bench for the 2-1 final victory over Jamaica.
His final goal came against Costa Rica in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup but USA's failure to reach the tournament saw Dempsey retire from the international game.
He made 141 appearances and scored 57 goals. He shares the record for the most international goals scored by an American with Landon Donovan.
Dempsey is married to Bethany Keegan Dempsey and the couple have four children.
He is a practicing Roman Catholic and has said of his faith: "I play to the best of my abilities and am thankful for the many opportunities and amazing success God has given me. Through it all, I want to do right, not make mistakes, and live a life that is pleasing to him."
He is a fan of hip hop music and was one of the featured artists seen rapping on the song 'Don't Tread' in a Nike soccer advertising campaign for the 2006 World Cup.
The song's video is dedicated to his sister Jennifer, who, aged 16, died of a brain aneurysm. At the end of the video, Dempsey is seen placing a flower at his sister's grave.
Dempsey and Barcelona's Lionel Messi feature on the cover of EA Sports' video game FIFA 15 in the US and Canada. He is also a keen football fan and supports the Houston Texans.
He was a big fan of the late Diego Maradona and studied both his and the Argentina side's way of playing the game to aid his own development.