Clint Dempsey

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How social media reacted to Pulisic’s hat trick

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“Captain America” is trending on Twitter worldwide.

And, no, it’s not Chris Evans playing as Steve Rogers this time. It’s Pennsylvania’s own Christian Pulisic, the second player from the U.S. to score a hat trick in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Match recap | Pulisic Watch ]

The 21-year-old’s perfect hat trick in 60 minutes against Burnley is the first by an American in England’s top-flight since 2012, when Clint Dempsey scored three of his own for Fulham in a match against Newcastle.

With hundreds of thousands glued on Pulisic’s every move, it’s no surprise that their heroes magical night has caused a frenzy on social media.

Leading up to Saturday’s game, Pulisic’s time at Chelsea was far from ideal – the frustration that came with the lack of playing time, the objective, yet harsh comments from manager Frank Lampard regarding his role within the team, the list goes on.

Three goals – right foot, left foot, header – later, however, it’s safe to say that the eagle has landed.

Captain America is officially patrolling all of England – and Europe. If he continues fighting off opponents like he did on Saturday, one thing is for sure: a hero’s welcome will be the first thing he sees when he opens any form of social media.

USMNT legend Clint Dempsey honored by Fulham

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Fulhamerica is still going strong.

After announcing his retirement in August, U.S. men’s national team legend Clint Dempsey has been lauded for his contribution to the game.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Fulham Football Club were the latest to celebrate the Nacogdoches, Texas native, with Dempsey, 35, coming onto the pitch at half time of their Premier League clash with Watford on Saturday.

Dempsey played for the Cottagers from 2007-12 and scored 60 in 232 appearances in all competitions. He led Fulham to the final of the UEFA Europa League in 2009-10 where they lost to Atletico Madrid after extra time. Dempsey scored more Premier League goals than any other Fulham player and any other American in PL history.

His status as a Fulham legend remains, with their current American owner, Shahid Khan, cementing the American connection, plus Tim Ream and Luca De La Torre in the first team squad continue the strong U.S. link for the Cottagers.

The forward was appreciative of the welcome he received back in west London. Take a look at the scene as Dempsey was celebrated at the Cottage.

Clint Dempsey was the greatest USMNT player of his generation

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His career began with a bang at the old Giants Stadium, and from that moment forward Clint Dempsey‘s time as a professional only skyrocketed him into U.S. Men’s National Team stardom.

[ MORE: Dempsey announces retirement after 15-year career ]

When Dempsey (21 years old at the time) scored his first Major League Soccer goal back in 2004 against the then-New York/New Jersey MetroStars, it was only a sign of things to come.

At this time, it was my first time seeing Dempsey in person during his rookie season, and with the falling side-volley finish that he put past MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker it was inevitable that the Texas-born goalscorer was headed for greatness.

Dempsey’s career has had many layers since that chilly night in East Rutherford, and while his humble beginnings are a large part of the player that grew on U.S. soccer fans for the better part of 15 years, that doesn’t tell the whole story of Dempsey.

He was the ultimate mix of skill and passion, being able to facilitate goals for his teammates, while being even more well known for scoring some of the most exquisite chances of his own.

Although the accolades that he has accumulated throughout the years are remarkable, Dempsey’s time in MLS and Europe, as well as with the USMNT, have been about singular moments that have made him the greatest player in U.S. Soccer history.

It was his goal against England in the 2010 World Cup that gave the Americans life in their group-stage opener.

It was goals against Ghana and Portugal during the 2014 World Cup that led to him becoming the first American to score in three separate World Cups.

Dempsey’s career was about the turmoil and drive for success, even in negative moments, like the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, which ultimately cost him captaincy of the USMNT.

In a moment where a lot of players would simply lay down and accept failure, Dempsey guided the U.S. to fourth in the Copa America Centenario, the first time the tournament was held on American soil.

On the club level, the 35-year-old wasn’t the first American player to move to Europe, and won’t be the last, but Dempsey dared to be great in England with the likes of Fulham and Tottenham, and succeeded at some of the highest levels and improved on a year-to-year basis with the clubs.

He scored against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League, while dazzling against European giants Juventus in the UEFA Europa League with one of the more audaciously brilliant goals any player could execute.

And when he was done lighting up Europe, Dempsey came back to MLS despite criticism over the timing of the move.

His time with the Seattle Sounders not only put the club on the map as one of the hotbeds for soccer in America, with an organization that regularly outdraws almost every other MLS city, but Dempsey helped deliver the team their first MLS Cup in 2016, despite battling a heart condition.

It was that heart ailment that led to the final chapter of his playing career, but once again, even after Dempsey was seemingly down for the count, he rose again in 2017 when he scored 12 goals and guided the Sounders back to MLS Cup, only to fall to a star-studded Toronto FC.

Dempsey won’t be the last great American soccer player. That’s for certain, especially with Christian Pulisic and others on the come up as they aim to revive the USMNT.

However, in a time where he shared the pitch with Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna, Brian McBride and many others, Dempsey was the best USMNT player of his generation.

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.

(more…)

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.