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Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey: From Fantastic To Pathetic

We remember those early days of Clint Dempsey playing for the New England Revolution. A hard nosed player that put himself into position for a scoring chance. Those early days playing for the National Team where he wanted the ball and buried every single chance he got. The Friendly at Soldier Field against England where he scored that second half goal on the rebound and showed his emotions. That facial expression was the start of US Soccer’s “Don’t Tread On Me” Campaign on the internet. Well I’m sorry to say that Clint Dempsey has lost his fire for the National Team. He has lost that spring in his step.

Ever since his move to the Premiership with Fulham all Clint Dempsey has cared for is playing for his club side. He hasn’t shown the same fire and passion for his National Team in the matches that really matter in these past World Cup Qualifiers. If he believes he doesn’t need to work for a roster spot during qualifying and is waiting for Bob Bradley to hand it to him if the USA qualifies then he has another thing coming. He is a special talent and when he proves it on the field for Fulham, we expect him to give his country the same thing. Now assisting on Carlos Bocanegra’s header for the Game Winning Goal against Honduras was nice, but he owes us so much more after playing flat in Costa Rica and his disgusting display of trick moves that made him cough up the ball to allow Honduras that fifth minute tally.

Remember how many times we were begging Bruce Arena during the 2006 World Cup to put Dempsey on the field. Remember how happy we were when he started against Ghana and he scored that equalizer. We wanted to see the next generation of good American talent show up on the world stage and prove to us that positive expectations were coming. Now look at him. The human light switch turning it on or off whenever he wants to and he does it while wearing the USA shirt.

Clint Dempsey who got his fair share of benching at Fulham by Roy Hodgson till he got a chance to prove himself was a ball of fire scoring goals and setting them up got his starting spot back. I understand that Fulham pays his salary for club football in England, but when you are considered a top talent for the US National Team and a driving force to get three points in a much needed World Cup Qualifier then show up and do some damange like we knew you could starting your professional football career here in MLS.

No we don’t play Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Mexico each and every week. But show us that you do care when the National Team goes against a Costa Rica, a El Salvador, a Jamaica, a Trinidad & Tobago and so on. Like I have said before Clint you were brilliant setting up Bocanegra’s winning goal in the 69th minute, but you’ve performed to many dumb plays & un-inspiring matches when you fail to put your brains and passion for the Stars & Stripes. Look at Jozy Altidore right now. He hasn’t had any minutes from Villarreal or Xerez, yet he is playing with his heart while not being match fit.

It might not happen but if I was the head coach of the National Team, Dempsey wouldn’t get any minutes in the Confederations Cup, the Gold Cup and the qualifier in Mexico City. I want to see that fire and passion come back when his back is against the wall by the coaching staff.

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  1. Daniel Feuerstein

    March 1, 2010 at 2:20 am

    David. You have come to this article way to late. A long time ago, I already praised Dempsey since the Confederations Cup was over. If you can’t find the proper article then don’t bother commenting on this.

  2. David

    January 4, 2010 at 7:36 am

    This is the most rubbish article I have ever read.

    Clint Dempsey is the definition of passion and heart. It’s players like him that inspire me to play harder and train harder everyday. He was inspirational for the US at the confederations cup, boasting the 3rd most valuable player at the tournament (understood this article was written before then). Dempsey is a KEY figure at Fulham and a huge fan favourite. He attacks, defends, scores, blocks, and tracks back on the opposing counter attack. He doesn’t get subbed off often, but when he does it’s because he is so bloody tired he can barely walk.
    “Clint Dempsey: From Fantastic, To Pathetic” – That is an unbelievably unjustifiable heading to this story and Dempsey’s career. Pathetic? Seriously? I mean come on that makes me sick.

    Read Clint Dempsey’s life story; read what he’s been through, read how hard he tried to make it in the world of football and now look where he is today.

    You can’t expect ANY player (not even Messi) to perform 100% every single game, its just not possible.

    Clint Dempsey is a WORLD CLASS player, who plays with heart, passion and an attitude that says, “I refuse to lose this game”.

  3. Dan Green

    July 16, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Dempsey is clearly one of the top talents on the USMNT. It talkes years to develop a player and any manager would be wise to talk to a player who has dropped off in production but foolish to leave a player like Dempsey off the USNMT. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. When you string them together like Beasley and combine that with a no prduction it’s time to get dropped. Demsey is nowhere near that level as the confed cup showed. Donovan made a mistake off the field, recognized it, and corrected it. I think a post by Mr.Feuerstein doing the same would be wise.

  4. Daniel Feuerstein

    June 27, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Peter: If you would’ve looked at my recent articles I am prasing him now because he got his fire back. You can act all high and mighty because your English and telling me that you know more about football than I do. But the point is this, what would’ve happened if John Terry, Steven Gerrard & Frank Lampard did the same thing in an England shirt? You would be livid and ticked off as well. I’m not saying they are doing it, but if they did the boot is on the other foot now isn’t it.

    Reynolds28: I understand that Dempsey can’t score goals in every single match for the USA. That’s not my problem, my problem is during that particular time he wasn’t showing passion for his National Team and he was both careless & reckless with the ball. You can say anything you want on what I wrote, but the point is simple. Show up and give a damn for your country. Not having the passion to play for your country should be the express isle for getting a boot up your ass and sent home.

  5. peter

    June 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    you don’t know sh*t about football mate. who put you through to the confed cup? Dempsey, played the ball for the first goal and scored the second against spain. now your in your first final EVER. eat your words ya thick c*nt

  6. Reynolds28

    June 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Well done Dempsey for Bagging that header against Egypt.

    I have a Fulham season ticket and think Clint is a great player with bags of versatility. This season I’ve seen him out on both wings, through the centre and leading the line and cant say he has done bad in any of those positions. Ok so he hasn’t scored in every game, but who does at that level? Let’s not forget the 2 goals he scored for us against Chelsea, especially the last minute equaliser. The goal he scored a couple of seasons ago against Liverpool to keep Fulham in the premier league and of course the third important goal to progress USA into the Semi’s of the Confederations Cup.

    He’s just had a gruelling season getting Fulham to their highest league finish ever. Since 1879!!! Yes… All 130 years of our history!!! I think any athlete might under-perform a bit after that.

    Basically I would say he is likely to produce when you need him to but don’t rely on him otherwise you are giving yourself a reason to beat on him if he doesn’t. He’s not superhuman but the is a great player with plenty of skill, talent, character and passion and Fulham and USA would be worse off without him.

  7. jeneria

    June 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    If Donovan is the best we’ve got, then we’ve got nothing.

  8. Daniel Feuerstein

    June 9, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Mandy. No offense to you either, but let me say this. I have been rooting for Dempsey to be apart of the National Team as well. Just like you I have been screaming for him to go on the field and take down every single opponent the US faces. But at least I’m not blind to see that he decides to turn it up whenever he feels like it. This has been recent for the last couple of matches.

    If he thinks Bradley is putting him in the wrong position on the field, he should have a chat with him. You know I’m a fan of Jozy Altidore because he was playing for Red Bull NY. I want him to play for the National Team every single chance he gets. But at the same time I’m not blind to the fact that both Villarreal & Xerez never gave him the playing time to be match fit. Fine he was double teammed out there by the Honduran Defenders. If he had his sharpness in that match and of course that means being match fit from start to finish in Spain, he wouldn’t look so winded if the Yellow Submarine stopped screwing him from earning minutes.

    I never said Altidore should start, just get some playing time off the bench. I have said to people and that includs Kartik he should be coming off the bench. I’m not happy that Villarreal screwed him this season. But while it’s nice for Bradley to give him minutes and two starts, this can’t continue for Altidore. He needs club match fitness to be sharp and better for the Nats. Dempsey has to re-gain that passion. While he realized he messed up after coughing up the ball & yes it was his fault for allowing Honduras to get that goal, he did get better. I am applauding him for the assist on Bocanegra’s goal but he owes us alot more than that after not doing the job for the Nats in the last several matches.

    You don’t have to be a ref or a coach to understand what’s going on Mandy. If you feel you know more write your own blog.

  9. Daniel Feuerstein

    June 9, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Kyle. Outside of Mourinho, Sir Alex, Wenger, Hiddink & Rafa. Who’s coming here? Just saying a Euro Coach doesn’t mean they are coming. I need a name of sustance and with a legitimate reason to come here to coach our Nats. Just saying “WE NEED A EURO COACH!” Just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  10. kyle

    June 9, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Maybe he doesnt play good for USA because he is played out of position. For Fulham he does his best when he plays up the middle as a supporting striker. His vision and dribbling ability is awsome. BOB BRADLEY IS HORRIBLE. USA WONT BE GOOD TILL WE BRING IN A EURO COACH…

  11. Mandy

    June 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Clint Dempsey is awesome. I have been watching him since his days in a revolution uniform and i have been keeping up with him at Fulham and even though Clint didn’t play great against Costa Rica, well no one against them. And even though he made a mistake against Honduras, you got to give him credit, it got double teamed and it looked like he was looking for an open player, he just lost the ball just like everyone else on the team, atleast he hustled back and tried to stop the shot. Also, I think that Clint does have the passion to play for the national team, like every other game he plays in he has passion. Bob Bradley formation is a disgrace, who would play a 4-3-3 in an international game, I rather have him play a 4-4-2 and have dempsey on the right wing and donovan at the right forward position instead of playing him left. Along with beasley in the midfield and bradley in the midfield and feilhaber and i like spector at defense and i like casey up front and i like the back. Dempsey plays great, Bob Bradley needs to play the players in the positions where they play really good instead of switching it up like he did. Anyway, i don’t want to be rude, have you ever played soccer or coached soccer because if you haven’t you shouldn’t be saying anything about how they play and especially if you are the coach that you wouldn’t play dempsey, well I have played and ref and coached soccer and i would certainly keep dempsey in to play in the confederations cup, the gold cup and the qaulifier against mexico.

  12. Herschel

    June 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Dempsey was terrible last night and has been average at best over the course of the 2009 WCC games. As for Mr. Three Lions, don’t waste your time on our website if you feel you’re so superior. Your British football arrogance is quite comical considering your country’s record in international competitions….and oh, did you guys not “invent” this fine game old chap? As for your Fulham comment, lets not forget Paul Konchesky’s spell with the three kitties. Cheers mate!

  13. Chris

    June 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    What goes through people’s mind’s when they jab the exclamation point and question mark keys multiple times? “That’ll show ’em!” (!!!!!)

    I’m not quite certain why folks think that Dempsey is useless out wide, he DOES play left mid for Fulham. Clearly Roy Hodgson thinks he has enough pace. It must be said that it took him a while to find that place at Fulham, but it sort of beggars belief that the US team folks haven’t figured out an effective place for him.

    That sitter miss was pretty bad, I’ll admit. To the people getting upset about his ball movement and flicks– I don’t see him lose possession on those very often. Last night’s was pretty egregious, yes, but he had other moments in the game doing similar things that went off without a hitch. To me it seems like some people see a guy make a rare mistake and they never want to see him do the thing that led to the mistake again. Is this a unique US problem? I know guys who never want to see Michael Orozco again in a US uniform because of that red in the Olympics. Same scenario.

  14. Brian

    June 7, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Yikes! You imply that he caused the goal for Honduras? Give me a break. There were 5 bodies in US jerseys between him and the goal. Do they not count here?

    Give credit to Honduras…it was a great strike.

    Demsey did well and created opportunities, one which resulted in a goal. Nice collective effort from the whole squad.

  15. eplnfl

    June 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    As to Altidore he was blanketed by the defense everytime he got close to the ball. Honduras defended by double teaming the man with the ball on most ocasssions. The US did not do a good job of moving the ball away from the double and triple teams to find the open man.

    I thought the backline had a very good night across the board. We may have found our four defenders for South Africa. That would free up some other players for the midfield. However, last night lets remember that Michael Bradley was not on the field. He has been the center mid now for 3 years and Dempsey and Donovan had to pick up the slack.

    Much has been made by the absence of Torres and I would like him to play more. However, given the circumstances of last night and forced line-up changes and the opponent Torres sitting was alright by me. The US had to play a power line-up and wear down Honduras, which it did. Torres is better suited when speed and movement is necessary.

  16. T

    June 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    WOW!!! So harsh!!! As if he is the only player that has made an error!!! Yes, he made an error, yes he is human, and yes he has amazing talent!!! If Bradley used him in the positions inwhich he shines, and if the US could speed up their game a bit, we might see a little more action. I am all for Team USA, but they need to speed up their game, and play the same type of ball that the rest of the world is!!! Dempsey keep up the good work, you are an awesome player!!! Oh yeah, didn’t he get an assist in the game!!!???

  17. Geoff S.

    June 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Bad give-a-way in the 5th minute and missed wide open opportunity from Feilhaber in the second half, but Dempsey might have been our most tenacious player last night. He was bad against Costa Rica, but form the starting whistle last night, he played hungry and with tons of passion.

    Ya, the turnover was inexcusable, but Dempsey did a lot of things right. I don’t think Ive ever seen him play defense like he did last night, dispossessing Honduran players and winning balls in the midfield.

    Look, players evolve. Donovan is a different (more mature) player than he was when Bruce Arena let him go wild and run at players 6 years ago, but he’s still the best we have. Dempsy’s game has evolved since going over to England, and he has more responsibility on the National Team. Dropping Dempsey is a horrible idea, and its not going to happen.

    If you really feel the need to bash players after last night’s game, look elsewhere! It was a good group effort!

  18. Daniel Feuerstein

    June 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Kartik, I agree. I thought Torres was going to be used last night & wasn’t. I was also pleasently surprised when Feilhaber entered the match & he looked great. I think he finally realized that he had to put his ego away and start playing.

    I understand everyone is having problems with Bradley’s formations, but still Clint Dempsey has to wake up and start understanding that he can’t take a match off whenever he feels like it for his country.

  19. TomB

    June 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Some of you need to relax a bit. It takes some players a bit of time to gel with their teammates, and Dempsey proved that in spades with his early season bench riding for Roy. But things turned out all-right. I’d dump the coach before I’d dump one of the most experienced players on the squad.

    And Clint, keep showing us those skilz, that’s what makes soccer enjoyable.

    And Lions:
    “but no fulham player would play for england nor would dempsey.”

    Well, to be technical about it, Jimmy Bullard was called up last year while he was on the team, and it is pretty safe to say he’d have had a good chance again had he stayed healthy (and stayed with Fulham).

    And then there’s Andy Johnson….

    Also don’t forget most of the Whites’ starters will see time with their respective countries’ WC teams this summer.

    So your point is essentially as lost as your shift key.

  20. The Three Lions

    June 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

    he was good for the new england revolution? who cares! that’s stinking mls!

    the guy was the mop for fulham. now that’s something that matters. but no fulham player would play for england nor would dempsey. the one guy i would take off your team for england as a reserve is jonathan spector. now he is quality but he developed at man u so you cannot take credit for his success.

  21. Angry USA Fan

    June 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Daniel: I couldn’t agree more. I think Dempsey needs to be dropped. We have other options on the right side, or Landon could be moved there and Torres played on the left.

  22. C Webb

    June 7, 2009 at 9:56 am

    The major problem with Dempsey is that he is a tweener. He’s not an out and out forward, and he doesn’t have the speed/workrate to play on the outside of midfield internationally.

    Someone made mention that he drifted centrally from his wide position. He always does that and that is why the US loses shape moving forward at times. He’s not disciplined enough to keep the chalk on his boots for 90 minutes.

    I’ve honestly had enough with his little ball tricks and flicks. Until last night, he had actually not gotten burned by it, but he F’d up big time in allowing that unnecessary turnover to lead directly to a goal. Could the US back line reacted a bit quicker? Perhaps, but the turnover was in a very vulnerable spot and there weren’t many options to snuff that play out quickly.

    I’m not ready to drop the guy entirely. He still is a useful player (great assist for the GWG) that can get into dangerous positions (missed the easiest sitter of the night). I just wish that he would keep things simple. He actually has very good technical ability and generally makes good decisions in terms of moving the team forward. It’s just a little too far and few between recently.

    Add to that he just simply might be exhausted. He’s played and started non-stop since January and Fulham was a club that used the least amount of players in the Premiership last season.

    The problem now is actually finding a position for him. Personally, I think right midfield is the only place we can play him in a 4-4-2. He’s way too slow to play up top (him and Ching paired together just might be the slowest attacking duo in World Soccer history). If the US ever went with a 4-5-1 formation with a reliable goal scoring front man (notice I didn’t say target forward – Ching just doesn’t offer a scoring threat whatsoever), you could very well get away with playing Dempsey just behind the top player in the formation.

    Oh well, we got the W and that is what counts.

  23. Roger

    June 7, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Eh…I dont know about this post. Yes, Dempsey played poorly vs. Costa Rica, but I really thought he rallied after his dipshit blunder last night. The camera showed his face and he looked like a guy who knew he blew it and then after that I thought that he put in a real effort to make up for that blunder. The header to Bocanegra was fantastic. The guy has talent and I am at least glad that this post questions his spirit. Maybe if he was on “notice” he’d kick it up a few more notches.

    Was Altidore blanketed last night by defense? He seemed kind of missing the whole night.

  24. Lars

    June 7, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Well, the grammar has improved. I was actually able to read this one. Still having some problems with commas, but the progress is astounding. And the points you made are more legitimate because of it.

    Dempsey needs to produce, if he isn’t producing, he should go. Simple as that. But the real problem is the one that Kartik has already pointed out. Your manager in the US is horrible. We’ve had tonnes of managers like him in Canada in the past ten years. Combined with the idiocy of the CSA in other areas, we’ve gone nowhere pretty fast.

  25. Yankeehooligan

    June 7, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Ok, Dempsey hasn’t been stellar in the last two games, but he’s also being used out of position. He needs to be used more as a wide player, but he was pulled centrally Wed and Sat. He’s not a forward. Not that anyone on this team really is. Jozy looked awful (and I’m a fan) and Conor Casey … well he’s only going to give you so much. The real problem with this team is Bob Bradley. The guy is terrible at putting a team together. The Beasley experiment at left back was an obvious failure. Bornstein showed last night that he’s the best option there, but it’s taken Bradley far too long to discover that. Mastroeni’s best days are behind him. And, dare I say it, Landon Donovan should he be taking EVERY SINGLE FREE KICK (has he ever scored from a freekick?). Despite the win, I’m frustrated because Bradley wasted his chance to test younger guys in the exhibitions and now our player pool has shrunk even more due to injury. Plus, we still haven’t developed a consistent scorer (or someone who can just get the ball on frame, for that matter). When our only hope for a scoring punch is the return of Brian Ching, it makes me worry.

  26. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    June 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Daniel, you’re far from alone in this sentiment. While I don’t totally share it, I’ve spoken to many fans and journalists alike the last four days who feel Dempsey should be dropped.

    Last summer he looked similarly tired and disinterested in the summer sweep as I called, three straight US games without a goal.

    I think Dempsey is playing out of position in Bradley’s horrible tactical setup. The sad part is yesterday the bucket and playing the likes of Rico Clark and not Jose Torres were rewarded. Dempsey should play in the middle or further up top. If Bradley continues to use the bucket, drop Dempsey because clearly he has trouble out wide.

  27. Joey Clams

    June 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Dempsey was pathetic last night,though. If SAF were the coach, Dempsey would have had a tea cup hit him in the nose.

  28. JS

    June 7, 2009 at 9:22 am

    really…wow…you are a moron.

    -So he was the only guy to have a bad game against Costa Rica? Where are
    the articles on Landy Cakes…
    -Nobody buries every single chance they get…Nobody…
    -that is “too” many by the way…do you proof your articles or do you just babble them out as quick as possible
    -take some time to be a responsible journalist and maybe more people will take you seriously. Was Clint the best player in the world last night…no…was he this utter disgrace that should never suit up for the USMNT again…No…thats you

  29. eplnfl

    June 7, 2009 at 8:21 am


    Dempsey made a key mistake early that hurt us big time. At times earlier in his playing days I would grow very frustrated with his up and down never consistent play.

    When I read the book by Jamie Trecker on the last World Cup I especially enjoyed the parts on Dempsey and when you read his story you will gain a new appreciation of the efforts he had to make to be where he is today.

    Last night he was a vital player for the US and keyed our offense on a number of occasions. Yes, he will make mistakes but as was shown last night again and at Fulham last season he is there when you need him.

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