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Dempsey makes Fulham return in FA Cup tie vs. Norwich City

Clint Dempsey Fulham (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

It did not take Clint Dempsey very long to break back into Fulham’s lineup.

Just days after his two-month loan with the Cottagers officially began, Dempsey earned a start for the club in a 1-1 FA Cup draw vs. Norwich City. Dempsey was deployed up top, had one shot and went the distance in the third round road match that will now be replayed at Craven Cottage on Jan. 14 or 15.

Dempsey and 16th-place Fulham return to Premiership action on Jan. 11, hosting Jozy Altidore and Sunderland in a league match with relegation implications.

What did you think of Dempsey’s return performance? Was it a good first game back? Think he is going to help the club turn things around?

Share your thoughts below.

47 comments
  • Daniel

    I know some have said this loan may not be great for Dempsey but I think that this loan could help him build some form for the start of the mls season and roll it into the WC.

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    • Louis Z

      Well Dempsey didn’t have a good last 3 months of qualifiers and he had a stinker of a season with Seattle, so I don’t think he will do great but I hope he does well during his loan. I read the play by play comments and I don’t think he had a good game… 1 shot in 90 minutes, 0 assists.

      The loan is barely starting, hopefully he can turn it around.

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      • Matt

        The analysis I read said that “the service from the wings was poor”. But, the commentary shows that he was the creator of multiple balls to guys that mishandled the chances. The Fulham message boards seem to echo these facts as well. Final thought Louis Z — the commentary compliments Dempsey on making a nice pass to winger to get him clear to make the pass to Darren Bent who then scored. Sounds as if he had a decent game to me. I would say that is especially true considering this was his first game with a team whose “first team” is in such disarray and confused as to who the “best starting 11” are that only Sunderland has used more players this year.
        I would tend to disagree with your conclusions.

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      • Stir Crazy

        Wasn’t even the first team really. I know at one point and time 3 players from their U-21 side were on at the same time

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  • Stir Crazy

    What should I think of his return performance? Judging from the picture I’d say it was a spectacular first game back.

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      • Stir Crazy

        Lol it’s pretty funny really. He had a shot, played 90 and was deployed up top.

        Ppl who listened to the radiocast gave more of an analysis on the “your running commentary” page.

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      • BobbyB

        Somehow I still get tricked. Expecting to read something of substance about how Deuce played. But in the end I just feel used for the page view.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        Analysis of someone who watched the game? I think I saw a guy watching it, he looked chubby, picked his nose once or twice, belched once. Yelled occasionally. I rated him a 4.

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      • Been There

        Ha ha. From someone who watched the game. Thank you grammer police.

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  • Brett

    I think he might have been better served to stay and attend the domestic camp. I really don’t see him getting back to Premier League form in such a short time.

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    • obrienk84

      i agree, playing in the premier league is no way to get back to premier league form.

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  • christian

    I hope Fullham makes an offer to purchase him, I didn’t agree on him coming back to MLS. Tottenham was also a bad idea. You dont break whats not broken, should have stayed and ended career at Fullham.

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    • Stir Crazy

      He’s not worth 8 million to European teams and to MLS, like Donovan, he’s probably worth 50 million or so because of marketing, merchandise and viewing

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      • Brain Guy

        Marketing and merchandise, yes. Viewing, not so much. I don’t see Deuce moving the needle on TV ratings any time soon. And Seattle’s ticket sales were already through the roof.

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      • Ian

        Bingo. Just like Beckham, the Dempsey brand is worth more in the US than the sum of his on-field contributions.

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      • beachbum

        actually, Beckham was a big contributor to the Galaxy winning the MLS Cup two years in a row on the field, and his leadership and total competitiveness are underrated all the time imo

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    • The Imperative Voice

      As a Fulham fan when fit he should be starting with Berbatov every week. The alternatives like Bent are not his level. Since he can basically play as much as he needs in light of Fulham’s talent level and relegation needs, it is a positive place for him to be to prepare for Brazil. Fulham plays through the end of April, USNT camp in May, Brazil in June. Natural flow.

      I’m not sure if Seattle plays along, but it’s a sensible scenario. The 2 month loan agreed to is less than ideal because Fulham needs him longer term to fight relegation, he needs a consistent place to play and settle, and I don’t think popping him into Seattle for a couple months helps them too much.

      IMO he never should have left FFC. He was a fan favorite and played plenty once he settled in. His NT stock rose to the point where he was seen as one of our best players. In the year since he left Jozy’s stock rose and his fell. People have these UCL and Big Club obsessions. He was good for us playing for FFC. But but but he did get sold to Seattle, so while people may have their pipe dreams, the Sounders are either going to get the player or money. I don’t see Fulham getting him for free.

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      • Stir Crazy

        They played well with Taarabt underneath Berbatov. As well as any this year.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        Not a big Taarabt fan. I think he’s a little selfish and sloppy, and he rode QPR on down to relegation. Acquire enough mediocrities from relegation type teams and that’s where you go too. Dempsey is on another planet and is the right direction on talent…..Fulham is just too slow and predictable on attack and the defense is a sieve. Dempsey gives them some speed and virtuosity with finishing like Berbatov…..

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      • Stir Crazy

        He had his reasons and I can’t say I blame the guy in the end.

        If he valued other aspects of his life before football, well he’s entitled. And if the WC is a failure for him, then it just wasn’t meant to be, quite honestly.

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      • Gary Page

        I think the fact that Jol was fired after the team has been in disarray may have had something to do with Deuce leaving. Berbatov likes Jol, but he seems to be in a very small minority, is the impression one gets when reading about Fulham the past year.

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      • The Imperative Voice

        Jol turned a top 10 team back into a relegation risk. Kind of like AVB, I would almost hear what he suggested then do the opposite.

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      • Quit whining about soccer in the US

        Maybe he just wanted to play on a team that is competitive?

        Two months of losing is one thing…a whole career ?

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      • The Imperative Voice

        At their peak with Hodgson they were a top 7 team that lost in the Europa final. Some of the problem here is the mentality you have to be playing for a Big Club overdog in UCL.

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  • Myett

    It wasn’t a very good performance from him unfortunately…still rusty

    Some quotes from Fulhams radio:

    “Stockdale launches a long free-kick with Bent doing well to beat Ryan Bennett to the ball. Unfortunately, the striker can’t find the run of Dempsey.
    – “Looks a little bit off pace [does] Clint.” – 47th minute
    – “Here is Dempsey, shot was a poor one – 48th minute”

    – “Clint Dempsey is easily dispossessed and here’s a good opportunity for Norwhich” – 51st min
    – “Dempsey not looking as sharp as he used to but floats a ball ahead to Darren Bent though that wasn’t a bad one” – 77th min

    “Dempsey clever ball down the side finds Darren Bent, Fulham still in possession” – 90th min +1

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  • Scott e Dio93

    Dempsey is out -form, needs to regain it, so that rhythm and momentum destroys the Fatherland and Spain’s mold.

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  • Nicole

    Fair to say Clint had a less spectacular first game than,say, Landon Donovan did in his loans.

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    • GW

      Nicole,

      You know what is even more fair?

      How about letting everyone know that LD’s Everton was a lot better team than this Fulham relegation rocket ride?

      That would be fair.

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      • Robbie

        A little touchy on the subject GW? One could argue Fullham is underperforming with the talent they do have, although still probably not as good as that Everton team.

        Its really hard to get perspective on how Clint did in this match since it wasn’t televised. I just hope the loan lets him get a few games and build his form… similar to how Donovan did when he spelled at Everton.

        For me, LD and CD aren’t even in competition for anything. IMHO, outside of JZ, CD, LD, MB & JJ, there is only 1 spot in the attacking half available. Regardless of whether it gets filled by FJ, AJ or someone else, you can shift your ballers around to make it work.

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      • GW

        Robbie,

        Touchy? Hardly.
        The two loans are not comparable.
        Deuce and LD are two very different players. The two loans are also different.

        Landon came in off a good year for the Galaxy. He went to Everton in good shape and into a very good Everton team that had a pretty clear role for him. US fans were pleased and excited about his loan.

        Deuce had a non year with Seattle and is starting from a bit farther back in terms of his health, fitness and form. Most of you have taken up pitchforks and torches in reaction to this loan and want a washed up Dempsey off the USMNT. But Clint is probably used to that . He is going to a team that is in crisis and Deuce may wind up playing a slightly different role than the one he first thought he might be doing.

        The likelihood of Clint having a loan period anywhere near as “spectacular” as Donovan’s, where everything lined up well for LD, is exceedingly low. That does not mean it won’t work out for Clint. It just means that it won’t be the critical success LD’s first go round was.

        It is also possible Clint has lost it, will have a miserable loan period and not go to Brazil but at least he’ll go out his way.

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  • Travis

    I would expect a little bit more in the write up about his performance. Sorry to pile on but come on, give some details or stats (how many shots he had, his passing percentage, etc.)

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  • biff

    We won’t know for sure whether the loan to Fulham will be successful or not until the fat lady sings on Feb 28, but I think the potential for massive failure is high and Dempsey would have been better advised not to risk it. Fulham under the new coach has played well the past few games without Dempsey and if Dempsey does not play up to expectations the Fulham fans are going to be reminded of his acrimonious departure 18 months ago and it could turn ugly real fast. I really cannot understand why Dempsey is taking this risk. Maybe doing it to keep Jurgen Klinsmann happy. I think Dempsey-Cakes would have been better off trying to (re-)bond with Landy-Cakes at Camp Cupcake and also provide leadership and experience to the kids who have been called into camp.

    Like

  • Leo

    Hope Clint can use this time to get back in shape and in form for Brazil. If Fulham is relegated in the process, all the better.

    Like

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