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Clint Dempsey discusses his improvement

Clint Dempsey 8 (AP) 

One of the most impressive developments of the European season for Americans Abroad has been Clint Dempsey's rapid rise from bench player to one of Fulham's best players. The U.S. national team midfielder has been a key figure in Fulham's rise into the top half of the EPL standings and remains one of the U.S. team's most important and popular players.

Dempsey recently spoke with the Fulham website and shared some insight into his improvement as a player.

What do you think of Dempsey's growth as a player? Has he regained his place as your favorite American player? Could you see him making a move to another club or do you see his future being as a standout for Fulham?

Share your thoughts on Dempsey below.

Comments

  1. dempsey is by far my favorite US player, and when i had cable, i was watching every fulham match FSC played. i’m glad to see the fulham coach now understands that if he wants to win, play dempsey. if you want to be in the bottom half, leave him out. i was beginning to wonder if the lesson would catch on at the beginning of the season since dempsey was often starting on the bench, but this is excellent news…

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  2. Brett: I don’t blame him one bit. Who doesn’t like to be appreciated?

    But maybe it’s one thing to think it and another to say it, no?

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  3. Sox – Craven Cottage is a great stadium. Old fashioned, real sense of history but with a family feel unlike a lot of the Premier League grounds. It’s also right on the River Thames so there’s a great riverside walk to and from the ground. I’m British but the Americans who I’ve spoken to compare it to Wrigley Field. I’ve never been there so I can’t comment but I love the Cottage. It’s probably the main reason I’m a Fulham fan because when I was little I fell in love with the ground. You definitely try and catch a game over here sometime.

    On Dempsey, he’s been absolutely brilliant this season and long may it continue. Hodgson made him fight for his starting place and prove his worth – and boy hasn’t he done that? He’s one of those players who makes watching football exciting. Hopefully, he can reproduce his club form for the national team too.

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  4. Am I the only one who didn’t thought that Dempsey being on the bench at the start of the season probably had a lot to do with the fact that he missed so much time in pre-season (and maybe a match as well, I can’t remember) due to being with the National team. I saw it as more of a case where, he missed all that time when they were integrating all the new players, he had to catch up when he got back.

    Each time he came in for Gera (who seems to me to be little more than a warm body from what I’ve seen), Dempsey did better than the player he’d replaced, so it seemed inevitable.

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  5. marksonm,

    Is the salute the celebration he did in the Trinidad and Tobago game back in ’08?

    Hands down the best goal celebration I’ve ever seen Clint do is the one at the World Cup. Scoring on the world stage is one thing, dancing on it is a completely different story.

    Another one I remember is when he was back in New England. You know those guys that are always shooting their fake guns when New England scores? Well, Clint jumped over the ad boards and took one of their hats and started dancing. He also did one later where he took the fake gun and shot it.

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  6. i would also like to know what his goal celebration means.

    its like:

    “I take.. see here? I take this phone from the heel from my shoe… and… I drink it.”

    oh well, as long as they keep going in it’s all good with me. 🙂

    tho my top 3 fav dempsey celebrations are:
    1. his first PL goal against liverpool celebration with Rosenior
    2. his “I’m Back, baby!” where he declared his return to form.
    3. The Salute. He should make that his signature celebration for the USMNT, love that Salute.

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  7. jpc – In the Mexico game we saw Clint and DaMarcus switch sides. Apparently Bradley already noticed Clint’s confidence growing.

    Isaac – I could see Clint playing a role like Dirk Kuyt does for Liverpool. But I am more than okay with Deuce staying at Fulham where he can be an everyday player.

    BCC – Can you really blame him for saying that? Why shouldn’t he be happy to be playing in a league where he is revered rather than barely noticed?

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  8. He would fit in well in Spain if he could actually get on the field with a team in La Liga. But I think he will be a career Fulham man, maybe make a move to another mid-table EPL team at some point.

    Love the backhanded swipe at US soccer culture: “It’s a great culture and awesome to be in a country where everybody is so passionate about a sport that you’re so passionate about.” Translation: it’s nice to be out of the US where people don’t really care about the sport.

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  9. sox, I was at Craven Cottage for a game against Manchester City. Fantastic place to see a game. The seats are really close to the field and it has a very intimate feel. The seats rise up without any breaks or tiers which is kinda cool. As with British stadiums you can’t drink beer in your seat so everyone stands around the places where you buy beer before the game and at halftime. Very vibrant atmosphere without feeling danger like I did at the Millwall game. They play that Requiem for a Dream theme (also play that on Sky Sports News) when the players come out and do this foot stomping hand clapping thing that gets faster and faster when someone takes a free kick. Great experience

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  10. I hope Bradley takes a page from Hodgeson’s book, and plays Clint on the left, Allowing him to cut into the middle of the field in the attacking third and become a distributer or shoot from the outside which he is excellent at (unfortunately it took Hodgeson a year to figure this out)…

    Clint on the Left and Beasley on the right would make our National team so dynamic; rather, than Beasley on the Left and Clint on the right, where they take it to the corner and cross the ball.

    That’s not a modern strategy, our players are 2 footed, and playing them on their “weak” foot makes them much more dangerous in the modern game

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  11. I’m very happy to see Clint do well and make himself an important player for his club.

    Next item on his agenda should be to get rid of 50% of the cliches in his comments.

    /smack forehead

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  12. The best and most consistent USMNT field player in Europe. Love Dempsey’s attitude and work rate. Don’t see a move to another club with Fulham being in line for a Europa Cup spot next year (Fair play rule is awesome).

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  13. It’s really, really good to see an american player at a high profile club(relatively) have a lot of success. He has the chance to make a mark at a team in the greatest soccer league in the world- something that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment- especially for an american player.

    He scored our only goal in the 06 world cup- i hope he scores several next time around.

    Anyone here ever been to Craven Cottage? It looks like a great stadium on TV.

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  14. I sure hopes he makes a smart business and professional career decision to stay at Fulham should he get calls from other clubs. Craven Cottage is great for this kid. Moving elsewhere would be a BAAAD choice. Take advantage of it Clint and live the football dream. Keep up the great work and continue to translate your play into combinations and goals in USMNT play!

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  15. If he puts in another strong season next year I think the bigger clubs will be looking to buy him from Fulham. Fulham may decide to sell as his contract will have much less time left on it and Fulham is a side that sometimes has to sell their best players to the really big clubs.

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  16. It’s great to see him back on top again after the brief lull that followed his superb World Cup performance. I think Fulham is an excellent place for him to stay for now. There’s no point in moving to a “bigger” club only to find himself in another struggle for minutes. He’s established at the Craven Cottage now, and as long as the team is performing well, there’s no point in him leaving.

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  17. Dillon, every time I see that picture of Dempsey, I always think of an old episode of Seinfeld… “I’M THE KING!! I’M THE KING!!”

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  18. I chalk his drop in form last year to his first year playing in a tough league. He frankly looked burned out. He started strong but finished weak.

    The time on the bench this year was good for him.

    Fulham has performed better since his return to form.

    It’s nice to see him perform so well.

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  19. Dempsey has been my favorite USMNT player forever, or at least since he was with the Revs. He always had this swagger and confidence in him regardless of who he was playing and I always enjoyed that.

    It didn’t matter if he was playing Chelsea or Swansea, he always seems to give it his best and plays the same regardless of who it is. I like how he views the field and makes runs.

    People knocked him for his defense, but he has stepped that up too. Playing in the BPL and earning his spot had really made him a solid player and I hope he continues to improve without losing with got him there.

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  20. I don’t see Dempsey going to another club anytime soon. He is getting major playing time at a mid-table EPL club that is based in West London. Unless they get relegated or have another coaching change, I’d expect him to stay put and try to leave a mark on Fulham.

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  21. From the article: “the tempo of my play has got better by taking less touches and being smarter.”

    This a lesson that I think more of our players, abroad and at home, need to learn.

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  22. Man, I so hope he hits one of his newly developed swiveling left footers into the upper corner one of these days. If it’s for Fulham, great. If it’s at Azteca, even better.

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  23. Anyone who follows Fulham like I do can tell you he has improved leaps and bounds over the 2 past seasons.

    His defensive hustle, accuracy and timing of his passes are off the charts compared to last year.

    But what may be the most important factor-

    he now brings it every minute of of every match just like the English fans, media and managers want and expect it.

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