DEMPSEY ADMIRING TEAM'S FIGHT
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Clint Dempsey helped salvage a draw for the US in their World Cup opener versus England with his goal yet the midfielder attests that it was the team's fighting spirit that paved the way for the positive result.

Dempsey does concede though that the team was on its heels most of the second half because it was not able to hold possession of the ball, however, the bend-but-don't break mentality, plus some fantastic goalkeeping from Tim Howard, eventually carried the day against the English.

"We had to defend a lot because we weren't keeping possession, but we decided as a group that we were going to be tough to bring down," Dempsey stated. "We fought hard and Tim came up with some big saves for us and we're lucky to have a keeper of his quality on our side."

The US found themselves fighting the entire match mostly due to the fact that Steven Gerrard gave the Three Lions the lead in the fourth minute when he rushed past a badly-beaten Ricardo Clark, gathered in Emile Heskey's pass and fired home past Howard.

The early goal was the last thing that Dempsey and company wanted to have happen, but the Fulham man was pleased to see the response from his American teammates.

"It was frustrating because the whole idea was not to concede early and then we did but I thought we responded well and I thought we started playing good," said the Texas native. "They were sitting back and we were creating chances."

Dempsey also noted that staving off the English attack to earn the draw gives the US plenty of optimism heading into the two remaining Group C matches versus Slovenia and Algeria.

"The second half was frustrating because we didn't keep the ball enough and that's something where we need to be better, but to go one goal down versus England and then fight our way back to get a draw, we'll be happy with that," he added. "We just need to keep moving forward as a team and see if we can play like we did in the first half and we'll be ok. We're happy with the result and we'll look forward to the next two games."

The US will face off against the Slovenians on Friday at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.