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Dempsey Reflects on Fulham Debut

  • Deadspin, Tuesday, January 23, 2007 4:15 PM
American soccer columnist David Hirshey scored an interview with Sunday Times columnist Brian Glanville and Fulham new boy Clint Dempsey while in London this past weekend. The topic of discussion, of course, was Fulham. When asked why the London club is so high on American players, Glanville answered: "They're cheap, they're available and they speak the language." He was unable to resist the urge of adding: "Unlike, say, Beckham." That, by the way, is probably about as close as you'll get to a complement of American soccer from a noted British columnist.

Later, Hirshey caught up with Dempsey, who had just made his ten-minute Fulham debut. He reported that "the level is higher and the speed of play is faster [in the EPL] than in the MLS. It's more comparable to the World Cup." He said it was particularly cool to hear jovial chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" from the north end of the stadium after his name was announced. His performance was good, too: after winning the ball in his own third, Dempsey carried it up field and laid off a back-heel to Michael Brown, who then played-in Fulham's American stalwart Brian McBride just outside the penalty box. McBride then unleashed a venomous left-footed volley that a Spurs defender deflected with his hand. The ensuing penalty was converted by Vincenzo Montella to put the Cottagers up 1-0.

Of course, it was disappointing to see 10-man Fulham surrender that lead with just a few minutes left, but at least Dempsey made a positive impression on manager Chris Coleman. Asked what his goals for the season are, the Deuce replied, "I just want to get fully fit and contribute. Considering that I haven't played since November, it felt good to get a run out."

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