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Jan. 20, 2007 – Clint Dempsey makes Premier League debut

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Jan. 20, 2007 – Clint Dempsey makes Premier League debut as 83rd-minute substitute for Moritz Volz. Fulham 1×1 Tottenham

Dempsey’s stated goal was to move on from MLS to a career in Europe and, after three seasons with the Revolution, he made the move on Jan. 11, 2007. Nine days later, Dempsey was in the Cottagers’ lineup. Dempsey went on to become first U.S. player to perform in a major European final (Atletico Madrid 2×1 Fulham) May 12, 2010, set a record for a U.S. player in the Premiership with his 37th goal Dec. 5, 2011; first U.S. player to complete a hat trick in the Premier (vs. Newcastle Jan. 21, 2012). Dempsey set a Fulham record for Premier League goals with his 15th against Bolton Wanderers April 7, 2012 and finished fourth in PFWAA Player of the Year voting before transferring to Tottenham Aug. 31, 2012. His first Spurs’ goal was a game-winner in 3-2 victory at Manchester United Sept. 29, 2012.

Dempsey took a single-minded approach to making the transfer happen. Basically, Dempsey had to make a market for himself by attracting offers from European clubs, in order to convince MLS to let him go. Deuce was focused on making the transfer happen when I interviewed him for this story in the 9/13/2007 editions of The Boston Globe:

DEMPSEY HAS ONE FOOT OUT DOOR

FOXBOROUGH – Clint Dempsey’s days are numbered with the Revolution. Though he is contracted to Major League Soccer through the 2007 season, there is a strong chance he will move on before that.

Dempsey yesterday reiterated his intention to go to a European club.

“It’s a matter of time,” Dempsey said while preparing for tonight’s game against D.C. United. “If the right situation comes along, I’ll go, or I’ll wait it out. This is the biggest thing in my life, the thing I have always dreamed of doing. There is no way in the world I am staying in the MLS, or coming back later in my career.”

Dempsey had hoped to use his impressive World Cup performance as a springboard to Europe. A transfer fee of $2 million was offered to MLS from a Premiership club, but the league turned it down. Dempsey, who is contracted to MLS at $80,000 annually, became frustrated, and Charlton Athletic, one of the clubs that was interested, backed off from Dempsey as the team’s priorities changed before the Sept. 1 transfer deadline.

TODAY IN NE SOCCER HISTORY

 

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