A bustling striker with an eye for goal and keen dribbling ability, Clint Dempsey first began kicking a ball around with the Latin America immigrant population in the small Texas town of Nacogdoches, where he grew up humbly in a trailer. One of the more colourful characters in the USA line-up, he is also one of its most successful, carving out a thriving career in the English Premier League with London side Fulham.
More at home playing off a genuine centre-forward, Dempsey's touch on the ball is his primary strength. He made a name for himself in Major League Soccer, first lining up for the Boston-based New England Revolution in 2004. Occupying a hybrid striker-attacking midfielder role, Dempsey took the league by storm and was named MLS ‘rookie of the year' (best new player). With his goals, dribbling and ferocity both on and off the ball, he led the Revs to three MLS Cups (the one-off game that decides MLS's champion) in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Dempsey made his USA debut in 2004, the same year he became a fan favourite with his club side. Dominant performances for club and country soon made a move away from the USA a foregone conclusion. Although New England did what they could to keep hold of their star performer, the English Premier League's glitz and glamour proved too much to resist for the player who grew up with limited means. Fulham bought Dempsey for a then record 4 million USD transfer fee in 2006. He made his debut in 2007, but remained a seldom used sub for the remainder of the season.
The next season (2007-2008) he came to life, becoming the team's top scorer and establishing himself in the high-tempo environs of the English top flight. Now under coach Roy Hodgson, Dempsey is a regular starter in a surprise Craven Cottage side that is overachieving in the league and in Europe.
One of the most steadily played and most respected US players in Europe, Clint's career with the national team is just as impressive. After a 2004 debut, he became a regular fixture in the side, making a mark with his ability on the ball but also with his battling nature, always fighting for the cause. He scored the USA's only goal at the FIFA World Cup™ in Germany in 2006, won the CONCACAF Gold Cup twice in 2005 and 2007, played a crucial role in the USA’s run to the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009 and has earned a creditable 17 goals in 59 international appearances (not all as a striker). Dempsey, who is widely known for his second career as hip-hop artist ‘Deuce,' has also covered himself in glory on an individual basis, picking up the US national team player of the year award in 2006 and US Soccer athlete of the year honours in 2007.