Are you an American? If so, do you know the name Clint Dempsey?
In all likelihood, the answer is a bewildered “No,” and this is a crying shame.
A brief summary of Clint Dempsey’s accolades:
- He is the first American to score a hat trick in the English Premier League (widely regarded as the best soccer/football league in the world) in a 5-2 win over Newcastle United in January 2012.
- He finished tied for fourth in scoring during the 2011-12 English Premier League season with 17 goals (21 in all competitions).
- He owns the record for most goals scored by a Fulham FC player in Premier League matches (50).
- Known for his toughness, Dempsey once played two games with a broken jaw before being diagnosed by a team trainer.
- Dempsey scored the equalizing goal against England during the 2010 World Cup’s group stage, one of the most famous goals in American soccer.
When you see Dempsey play for the United States, he is one of the first American-born players who looks like he truly belongs. His skill, touch, and footwork are on a world-class level, and yet more Americans know Landon Donovan, or even Freddy Adu.
Largely ignored, the native of Nacogdoches, Texas flicks, spins, and bursts his way through opposing defenses with a flair never seen from an American. If you don’t know of his talent, watch a few of these YouTube videos:
(Dempsey’s “wonder goal” against Juventus)
If you don’t watch soccer, that’s okay. But please don’t think of Freddy Adu when you hear the words “American soccer.” Don’t think of Landon Donovan. Dear heavens, please don’t think of Alexei Lalas.
Think of Clint Dempsey.