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CLINT DEMPSEY: 'They weren't hating us'
by Mike Woitalla, September 7th, 2008 7AM



Against Cuba, Clint Dempsey was moved from the frontline into the midfield and scored his third goal of the qualifying campaign after striking twice in the preliminary round against Barbados. After the game, he spoke about the Cuban fans' warm reception ...

SOCCER AMERICA: What was the atmosphere like compared to the Guatemala game in August and other road matches the USA has played in World Cup qualifying?

CLINT DEMPSEY: It was more chill. Obviously, they were rooting for Cuba, but it wasn't as if they were hating us and wanted us to lose.

SA: The Cuban fans cheered your names when they were announced. Have you ever been cheered by an away crowd?

CD: No. That was definitely a positive experience. It was definitely a surprise. I've never experienced that. Sometimes that doesn't even happen when we're playing at home. I would looked forward to playing here again because it was definitely a positive experience.

SA: How'd your goal come about?

CD: Brian [Ching] did a good job of holding the defender off. Then I just tried to get a good first touch to open myself up to the goal and just hit it hard and low. It was a difficult one for the keeper to save.

SA: You moved into the midfield from the forward line. How'd you like playing in the midfield as opposed to upfront?

CD: It was good. Throughout my career, I've played outside mid, center mid and forward. I just like being in the attacking third. Anytime that I can get a chance and am on the field, I'm happy with that. It was good. I'm definitely working on my fitness a little bit more and try to be a little more sharp. By getting a goal tonight it definitely helped my confidence.


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