[AMERICANS ABROAD] Clint Dempsey's two-month loan deal with Fulham has been finalized. The U.S. national team captain will be eligible for the Cottagers' New Year's game against West Ham United. A year and half after leaving Craven Cottage, where he played five and a half seasons, he returns to a different Fulham, which finds itself in the English Premier League drop zone.
Dempsey's move to Seattle in August followed a season at Tottenham, but he says Fulham has always felt like home for him in Europe.
“It’s a lot of different things for me,” he told the Fulham FC web site. “I wanted to get back to playing at the highest level. I wanted to get back into top form. Getting back helping the team in a situation where they aren’t where they want to be in the table. But, yeah, going into a World Cup year, you want to get into that top form and carry that forward so hopefully you can have a good showing.”
Dempsey, 30, says Fulham has been in tough positions before and expects it to recover again.
Its 2-1 win at Norwich City on Boxing Day ended a two-game losing streak. Crystal Palace's 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Dwight Gayle's goal two minutes into stoppage time kept it ahead of Fulham on goal difference. The Cottagers play at Hull City on Saturday before returning home to face West Ham on Wednesday, the first day Dempsey is eligible to play.
Dempsey scored 52 goals in 184 appearances for Fulham, including a career high 17 goals in the 2011-12 season. He holds the record for most goals (57) by an American in the EPL.
Since Dempsey has left Fulham, it was sold to Pakistani-American Shahid Khan, the owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. Dempsey met Khan for the first time on Saturday. His new owner's advice?
"Get some goals."