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Veteran soccer journalist. Indiana University Class of 2012. BA in Journalism. Love my wife and dog.
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Top 10 goals in Clint Dempsey’s career

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Clint Dempsey announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a record-breaking career both in the U.S. and in the Premier League.

Over his 15-year career, Dempsey has scored a lot of goals. Around 211 to be exact in officials matches for the New England Revolution, Fulham, Tottenham, the Seattle Sounders and of course, the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Let’s take a look back at our favorite ten goals from Dempsey’s career, in descending order from 10.

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Clint Dempsey announces retirement after stellar 15-year career

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It’s the end of an era for the Seattle Sounders, U.S. Men’s National Team and soccer as a whole in the United States.

Clint Dempsey announced Wednesday that he has retired after a 15-year professional career, which included stops at Fulham and Tottenham in the Premier League. Little did many know when the New England Revolution draft the Nacagdoches, Texas native with the eighth overall pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft that he would go on to become one of, if not the best American striker in history.

[A LOOK BACK: Dempsey wins 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year]

“After a lot of thought, my family and I have decided that this is the right time for me to step away from the game,” said Dempsey. “I’d like to thank all of the teammates, coaches and support staff that I’ve worked with throughout my career. It has always been my dream to make it as a pro. I’m grateful to have been on this ride. I would like to thank all of the fans who have supported me throughout my career with the New England Revolution, Fulham, Tottenham, Seattle Sounders and the U.S. Men’s National Team. Y’all have always made me feel at home, and it is something that I will always remember.”
In addition to scoring 57 Premier League goals between Fulham and Tottenham, Dempsey finishes his career tied for first place in the USMNT scoring department with former teammate Landon Donovan at 57 goals. Dempsey’s 141 caps is third all time and 21 assists is tied for fourth-most all time.
After being drafted, Dempsey was an instant sensation, starting 26 times and scoring seven goals with two assists to help take the Revolution to the Eastern Conference finals. Dempsey’s career extended all the way back to that of Taylor Twellman, a former teammate, as well as his coach, former Liverpool great Steve Nicol.
After two more solid years with the Revolution, Dempsey made the decision to move abroad, joining Fulham for a reported $4 million, at the time the highest transfer fee for an American player, and he added to the American flavor at the club, which already had Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra in the squad.
After a slow start in his first half-season, Dempsey went on to be a reliable starter up top, scoring six, six, and seven goals in his first three full Premier League seasons. He scored 12 league goals in 2010-2011 and exploded a year later with 23 goals in all competitions. With his value at his highest, Dempsey essentially held out from preseason training for Fulham, asking to move to a bigger club.
Dempsey finally got that move in 2012, moving to Tottenham. Alas, with seven goals in 29 appearances, Dempsey was never able to break into the first team as the main starter.
Around this time, Dempsey took advantage of MLS clubs realizing it could spend big, Designated Player dollars on Americans, and Dempsey followed national team teammates Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley in returning from Europe to the league they came up in.
Dempsey’s move to the Seattle Sounders attracted an incredible amount of local media attention, and fans even greeted him at the airport.
Dempsey went on to score 53 goals as the talisman up top for the Sounders, leading the club to an improbable MLS Cup title in 2016 and a return to the final in 2017.
At the height of his time in Europe, Dempsey was also becoming a star for the USMNT. The striker made his first USMNT appearance in 2005 and went on to be the first USMNT player to score in three World Cups, beginning in 2006 and finishing as he captained his nation in 2014, scoring in the opening minute in the USA’s first game in Brazil against Ghana.
The no-nonsense Dempsey had plenty of memorable goals and moments in big USMNT matches, against hated rivals such as Mexico and a famous goal in a 1-0 win at Italy.
Deuce will surely go down in history as one of the best players to ever play the game, and perhaps even more impressive was his comeback after a heart condition forced him off the field in 2016, forcing him to miss the tail end of the Sounders’ magical run to the MLS Cup title. Dempsey returned in six months, beating the odds, and played another 18 months before he decided to call it quits.

This story will be updated. 

Report: FIFA may not approve La Liga matches in U.S.

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It’s looking more and more likely with every passing day that La Liga matches won’t be taking place in the U.S., or out of Spain in general, any time soon.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post during a visit to Washington D.C., FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed displeasure with the announcement from La Liga that they intend to take league matches to the U.S. and other countries abroad in the future. La Liga announced last week a landmark 15-year marketing rights deal with Relevant Sports, organizers of the International Champions Cup.

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“I think I would prefer much more a great MLS game in the U.S. rather than La Liga being in the U.S.,” Infantino reportedly said, adding that although he is “only” the FIFA president, FIFA would need to approve a league match played abroad, as would the Spanish football federation, U.S. Soccer, UEFA and CONCACAF. It appears that if just one of those governing bodies refuses to approve the decision, any official match abroad would be called off.

While attendance lagged in the U.S. this year, the ICC has been an overall success, expanding from just matches in the U.S. to also matches in East Asia and across Europe with more than a baker’s dozen of Europe’s top clubs. The marketing success of these friendly and exhibition matches surely formed the basis of La Liga’s decision to partner with Relevant Sports to try and bring official matches abroad. A decade ago, the Premier League considered a “39th game” played in cities across the world, but it was instantly met with harsh criticism from all over England, and the Premier League tabled the idea.

With international travel improving every year, it could be possible one day to see La Liga matches played in the U.S. or elsewhere. But it’s a slippery slope. If U.S. Soccer approves that, what’s to stop every other European league from requesting to play games in the U.S. to make a quick buck at the expense of the local fans, some of who go to every game, home and away.

In terms of when and where games are played, considering the NFL season takes place during the fall and winter and most soccer teams would prefer to use the massive NFL stadiums in this country, it’s likely that matches would have to take place either in late spring in Northern or Midwest U.S. cities or in the winter in cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston.

Sane, Gundogan, Rudiger named to Germany squad for September matches

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Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan are among just three Premier League-based players in Germany’s squad as it looks to rebuild following the 2018 World Cup disaster.

[WATCH: Crowd trouble mars Santos-Independiente]

The Manchester City pair joined Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger in the Germany squad, which features three debutants but also 17 of the 23 players who went to Russia, as manager Joachim Low appears to oppose blowing up the team to prepare for the 2020 European Championship. Bayern Munich stars Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng and were all recalled despite poor World Cup performances, but Sami Khedira and Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Bernd Leno were all left home. Mesut Ozil, who announced he wouldn’t play for the national team again unless there were changes at the top of the German football federation, was also left off the squad, having reportedly refused to communicate with the national team coaches and general manager Oliver Bierhoff.

The three new call-ups are Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, Paris Saint-Germain’s Thilo Kehrer and Hoffenheim’s Nico Schultz.

Low admitted for the first time since the end of the World Cup, where Germany failed to make it out of the group stage, that he became too obsessed with the dominant, possession-based style his team morphed into, but he didn’t have the pieces for it come 2018.

“My biggest mistake was that I believed that we could get through the group stage with this our domineering style of play,” Löw said.

“It was almost arrogant of me. I wanted to push this style of play as far as it could go, to perfect it even more. I should have prepared the team the way I did in 2014, when we had more of a balance between offense and defense.”

Germany hosts France on September 6 in the UEFA Nations League in then Peru in a friendly match on September 9.

Crowd trouble mars Santos-Independiente Copa Libertadores match

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Frustration overtook the common sense of some Santos fans, leading to a Copa Libertadores match last night ending before full time.

With fans of the famed Brazilian club throwing flares on the field and rioting in the stands, referee Julio Bascunan called the match late in the second half between Santos and Independiente of Argentina, giving the Argentine side a 3-0 aggregate win in the Copa Libertadores Round of 16.

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Much of the frustration from the Santos supporters came after CONMEBOL ruled that Santos used an ineligible player, Carlos Sanchez. Sanchez received a red card in a Copa Sudamericana match in 2015, and hadn’t served that suspension in South America between then and now. Although the first leg in Argentina finished 0-0, Independiente was awarded a 3-0 win due to Santos’ error.

Santos’ defeat leaves just Gremio as a non-Argentine side on their side of the knockout round bracket. Atletico Tucuman, who only qualified for the Copa Libertadores for making it to the Copa Argentina final (the club finished 15th in the Argentine league last season), incredibly defeated recent Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Nacional, 2-1 on aggregate.