Tottenham Hotspur (Premiership)
#23 | Midfielder/Forward
March 9, 1983 (Age: 30)
6' 1", 170 lbs (1.85 m, 77 kg)
Clint Dempsey was an immediate sensation at Furman University, starting 21 of 22 games as a freshman. With four goals and eight assists to his credit, he was selected as the Southern Conference Freshman of the year and named to Freshman All-America teams.
He scored 17 goals and 19 assists in three stellar seasons with the Paladins, earning several conference, region and All-America honors along the way. After the 2003 season, Dempsey made himself eligible for the MLS SuperDraft and was selected by the New England Revolution with the eighth overall pick in 2004.
Dempsey started 23 of his 24 rookie appearances, scoring a team third-best seven goals. His offensive game drew raves, as well as a winter trial with Dutch power Feyenoord. The Texas native averaged one shot on goal and three fouls suffered per game, figures that helped add up to a Gatorade MLS Rookie of the Year award.
The opportunistic midfielder finished the 2005 season with 10 goals and 9 assists and was named to the Radio Shack Bext XI and the MLS All-Star Team.
Dempsey told YA in Spring 2006 he definitely wanted to play in Europe, and in August of the same year MLS rejected a $1.5 million bid from Charlton Athletic of England's Premier League, following reported interest from West Ham United.
After this move was rebuffed, Dempsey reiterated his desire to leave MLS, where his contract runs through 2007, for a European team as soon as it were possible.
Fulham agreed terms with MLS for Dempsey in early January 2007 but the transfer was referred to a work permit tribunal because he did not meet the requirement of having played in 75% of official national team games over the previous two years.
On January 10th, the UK Home Office gave the green light to the deal and Dempsey officially joined Fulham in a reported ?2million ($3.88 million) deal.
Dempsey saw sporadic playing time in his first months with Fulham but did notch his first goal in May 2007 in a victory against Liverpool which ensure Fulham's safety in the EPL for another season.
The 2007-2008 EPL campaign saw the former Paladin become a mainstay in the Cottagers' attack as he would end the season with six goals as Fulham barely escaped relegation with a stretch run performance that could only be described as a "great escape".
Dempsey's success continued in the 2008-2009 EPL season as his offensive efforts have spearheaded a run towards the 2009-2010 Europa League. On August 13th, 2009 Dempsey inked a two year contract extension with Fulham, keeping the creative attacker at Craven Cottage until 2013.
Dempsey reputation at home and abroad took another step forward in the 2009-10 season. Despite being hampered by injuries in the second half of the season, he scored seven goals in league play, second only to Bobby Zamora on the team. Most importantly, he and Fulham reached the final of the UEFA Europa League, where they fell to Atletico Madrid in Hamburg. Along the way, the doughty English club recorded victories over European heavyweights such as Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg, and Hamburg. Perhaps Fulham's most stunning accomplishment was a reversal of a 3-1 deficit in their home-and-away tie with Juventus. Losing 4-1 on aggregate at Craven Cottage following an early Juventus goal, Fulham roared back with four unanswered goals, capped off by what many consider to be the classiest strike of Dempsey's career, a stunning chip into the far corner.
Transfer speculation surrounded Dempsey in the summer of 2010, intensified by the departure of Fulham's manager, Roy Hodgson. Perhaps due to a slow market, the rumors never amounted to anything.
Dempsey improved his goal output at Fulham every season. He bagged 12 goals in 2011-12 and then followed that haul with an impressive 17 in 2012-13.
At transfer deadline day in 2012, Dempsey moved to Tottenham Hotspur despite having been linked to Liverpool during the preceding weeks.
Dempsey played 15 matches for the US Under-20 National Team in 2002 and 2003, making one substitute appearance in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships in Germany.
He received his first senior cap against Jamaica in November 2004, and scored his first international goal in a friendly loss to England at Chicago's Soldier Field in May 2005.
Dempsey scored his second goal as the US opened their 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup title run with a victory over Cuba in Seattle and then added to his tally in friendly wins over Japan and Poland.
At World Cup 2006, Dempsey started two of the three US games and scored the team's only goal in the tournament.
Since that disappointment in Germany, the native Texan has become not just a regular starter, but a key player for U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley in their pursuit of a 2010 World Cup berth. In the course of the qualifying campaign, Dempsey registered four goals; against Barbados, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador.
The Fulham midfielder was part of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad that took home the title after a dramatic victory over Mexico in the final. Demspey netted the sole goal in the US' opening group stage game against Guatemala.
After a slow start in the 2009 Confederations Cup, Dempsey scored key goals against Egypt, Spain, and Brazil en route to being awarded the Bronze Ball for being named the tournament's third best player.
In the US national team's return to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, Dempsey scored his second WC goal against England after Robert Green bobbled his shot.