Dempsey scores two vs. Chelsea on good day for Americans in England

Clint Dempsey 8 (AP) 

If there was any doubt before, Clint Dempsey provided the clearest evidence to date that he is truly back to his best.

The U.S. national team star scored two goals, including an 89th minute equalizer to help Fulham register a 2-2 tie vs. Chelsea on Sunday.

Dempsey's brace was the highlight of a pretty good day for Americans in England.

Tim Howard recorded a shutout in Everton's 3-0 win vs. Sunderland and perhaps the most promising story of the day was Jonathan Spector returning to action. The U.S. defender only played a minute on Sunday, but it was his first action of the season after battling shoulder and hip injuries. Spector's appearance is a promising sign for his chances of sticking around West Ham United beyond the January transfer window.

In the League Championship, only Jay DeMerit saw action, starting and playing 90 minutes in Watford's 0-0 tie vs. Queens Park Rangers. Eddie Johnson dressed but did not play in Cardiff City's 1-0 win vs. Plymouth Argyle. The Reading tandem of Marcus Hahnemann and Bobby Convey did not dress, with Hahnemann still nursing an injury. Frank Simek was also sidelined by injury, with a hamstring injury keeping him out of Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Coventry City.

What did you think of Dempsey's amazing performance? Are you starting to feel better about the U.S. national team's attack now that Dempsey is looking like the 'Deuce' of old? Think Spector will work his way back into the mix for national team playing time quickly?

I will update this with the League Championship performances, but for now feel free to hare your thoughts on Dempsey and the Americans in England below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, U.S. Men's Olympic Team. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Dempsey scores two vs. Chelsea on good day for Americans in England

  1. Zachy T says:

    DEMPSEY!!!!
    THE SAVIOR OF FULHAM TODAY. COME ON YOU WHITES!!!!
    3 goals in last three games as a winger!!!!
    great form. great American player in the top flight premiership.
    Look out all you teams fighting against U.S.A. in international play. We have tha DEUCE!!!
    hahaha

  2. Eric R says:

    mourinho thinks dempsey is better than ronaldo

  3. Zachy T says:

    Both goals were pretty, but the second one. In the 89th minute, was amazing.

  4. Zachy T says:

    where did you read or watch that eric?

  5. Johnny says:

    I was thrilled! Gooosebumps! The hair raised on the back of my neck watching Dempsey! He scored 2 against Chelsea, not a bottom feeder! WILL FSC PLEASE PUT MORE FULHAM GAMES ON TV SO I WON’T HAVE TO WATCH ON THE COMPUTER???!!!

  6. Lucian says:

    Dempsey seems better than the Deuce of old because he now makes better decisions consistently through games. He keeps the ball much more effectively and passes the ball better than before. It’s great that he’s now adding goals back to his game. Remember, last year when he was scoring goals, he was on a very bad team. This year he’s playing well as is the team. Long may this form continue!

  7. Brett says:

    I caught the whole game and Dempsey was the best on the pitch for Fulham outside of arguably Hangeland and Schwarzer.

    I still think Clint is a beast as a supporting striker, but he has fit into his RM position very well. He was well positioned, winning balls, applying good pressure, and linking up all game. I like that his play has gotten less aggressive and he is making less wild overlapping runs that lead to nothing.

    Nice as it would have been to see him score during the run of play and not on set plays, both goals were VERY well taken. The first was great positioning and skill. You could have forgiven him for flubbing his chest trap or sending a pass back to the chaos, but he calmly and skillfully flicked the ball right past Cech. The second was determination and a superb header, dare we say “McGodlike”.

    However, I thought his best play was when he controlled the ball on the wing near the goal, beat Ashley Cole with a flick of the ball, and delivered a quality left-footed cross.

    He’s coming into his own, and I actually believe he belongs, and needs to be on a “good” club to take his career further.

  8. Mig says:

    That was one of the best performances in Dempsey’s career. Talk about mixed emotions: I’m a Chelsea fan.

    Both goals were classy finishes and his decision making on the ball throughout the game was nearly flawless. To be able to hold up the ball and find a distribution vs. Chelsea’s midfield is NOT something anyone can do. Class performance by our boy.

  9. A.S. says:

    Oh man. Too bad we didn’t have a “Your Running Commentary” today!

  10. Michael F. says:

    outstanding for deuce and us. i’m having tivo issues, don’t get me started, so i’ll have to settle for highlights later today

  11. BK says:

    My issue is that Dempsey gives it his all for Fulham and then disappears for the US MNT. Sometimes I wonder if it’s depressing to play overseas with a lot of talent and then coming back to play with the US MNT and having to play alongside Eddie Johnson, Jonathan Bornstein, and the other tools we throw out there each game.

    I just don’t feel like Dempsey has the same fire when he plays for the US.

  12. Josh A says:

    Great to see him on TV again. I’ve fallen in love with Fulham after their births out of the relegation abyss the last couple of years. It’s good to see them in the middle of the table, but I don’t know how long it will last with their defense. Dempsey played a great, consistent match. Good for him to score a brace against Chelsea

  13. Zachy T says:

    oy. poor michael. I started watching on my DVR 30 minutes in. Just wrapped up the game. Lots of rewinds and slow mo’s :)
    Should be a lot of highlight shows this Sunday afternoon. Demspey will be on all of them now. I wonder if Fox Football Fone-in will finally give Dempsey some recognition.

    Ives,
    I have comment on your picture selection. Why not Dempsey in action or with his shirt off, AJ hugging him surrounded by his team, running and celebrating and flexing after the amazing equalizing goal.

  14. adam says:

    Does anyone remember the beginning of the season when Clint coundl’t get a game? No, really??

    Anyways I think Clints elevated play has a lot to do with Roy Hodgson. He demanded this form from Clint and he has produced it. Its almost like he plays best when hes pissed off and has something to prove…Perhaps Hodgson saw this and put the challenge to Dempsey knowing what he might get in return.

    All credit to Clint though for refining his game, especially in posession and build-up, and bringing the GOALS. As one Fulham blogger says, long may it continue!

  15. Brett says:

    BK – You serious? Clint definitely plays with passion when he wears the MNT shirt. His form for the MNT has also been good recently. It seemed like he scored in every other qualifier.

    I think what you’re looking for is a sense of urgency from him, and you just can’t get that from a guy who knows his team is breezing through a weak qualifying field. We’ll see that Dempsey once the Hex starts. You can count on it.

    In the Premiership, every game is important to a club like Fulham who only need stay up to consider the season a success. Besides, playing in a London Derby is bound to draw more energy than a group stage WQ Qualifier or friendly.

  16. Sean says:

    I think this ranks up there as Clint’s second best Fulham performance. He showed tons of heart and determination, and was rewarded with his brace.

    He’s going on a tear right now, like he did when he put the squad on his back against Tottenham last year. COYW

  17. A Rickey says:

    It’s all about playing time my friends. If he isn’t getting solid minutes with Fulham, his National Team performances suffer. Conversely, when he’s on form (as he is now) and confident, his play for the US spikes. For all the evidence you need, look to Mr. Beasley (and please don’t come back at me with his injury situation – he has been a mediocre player for both club and country for about 3 years now. His last meaningful minutes were when he was playing full time with PSV.)

    It’s not really difficult to figure out. However, this leaves the US with a significant problem come Feb 11th.

    Three of the US’ most attacking players will most likely not be playing solid minutes (Adu, Altidore, Donovan). That to me signals a problem.

    We’ll see how they do. As for Dempsey, I’m happy that he has finally gotten the minutes to make a difference. A handful of substitute appearances will never get him back to full confidence and full effectiveness.

    Keep it going Clint.

  18. beckster says:

    Dempsey’s first goal was very nice, his second was spectacular. In between, however, he disappeared for prolongued periods of time and the Fulham midfield could not hold on to the ball. This is understandable from the perspective that the opponent was Chelsea, most of the guys played 90 on Friday and they didn’t have Jimmy Bullard. Clint had some nice defensive moves but walks around more like a striker than a winger. He was the hero today and is a solid member of the MNT (along with the defenders, goal keepers and Donovan)so let’s enjoy a great day for Clint but not put the future of the MNT on his shoulders.

    Fantastic news about Spector. We need him to play and get back on the MNT. It is unusual to have a defender with his versatility that plays in the EPL so lets hope that the Hammers don’t sell him and he continues to progress.

  19. I think Dempsey’s bad form towards the end last year and beginning of this year was it was his first full year in the EPL. I don’t think Dempsey has played that many minutes at the high level of the EPL. It was obvious he looked tired.

    He was the best player for Fulham today and both goals were excellent.

  20. Dannyc58 says:

    Ives,

    Really agree (as a West Ham fan) about Spector. I think Faubert may get sold, and I think there is a small (very small, I could see Zola bringing in an Italian over the summer) chance that Spector could compete for the RB next year if he stays @West Ham.

  21. Brett says:

    Beckster – The MNT on his shoulders? Absolutely not, and no one should ever suggest that weight be carried by a single player. Football is, after all, the quintessential team game.

    But now you have to add Dempsey to the list of our strongest supports right alongside Howard and Donovan.

  22. Adam says:

    Subotic who?

    Spector is back, hopefully Simek will FINALLY recover.

    And what can you say about Clint…you know when he puts on a USA or club kit he will give 110%!

    THE YANKS ARE COMING

  23. Isaac says:

    You can understand why Bob Bradley liked Dempsey as a forward. I wouldnt mind trying him out as a forward next to Ching again. Maybe Donovan behind him, and Adu or Sacha on the right. Either way the Deuce is on the loose.

  24. Mario in SJ says:

    The first goal I though showed tremendous control and concentration. How he just placed the ball between the defenders on the reverse kick was a thing of beauty.

    The second goal was a study in power and incredible accuracy…falling away from goal he spotted a perfect header into the corner of the goal, Cech did not have a chance. Great stuff…..

    Feels good to have a USMNT player put two past the Czech Republic keeper, sort of a down payment for a future rematch of the 2006 WC thumping.

  25. ISAAC says:

    as if there wasn’t enough magic, Robinho equalizes for MCFC against Blackburn in the 93rd. Nice. geuss he wasn’t a waste of money.

  26. Isaac says:

    As if there wasn’t enough late magic, Robinho equalizes against Blackburn in the 93rd to make it 2 all.

  27. CSD says:

    His biggest game for Fulham will probably always be when he scored to keep them up two years ago after coming on as a substitute in the final game of the year. If he hadn’t done that who knows where he would be now.

    Fulham is actually a pretty good team this year with I believe 9 straight without a loss. Clint is tied for lead scorer and with Bullard possibility on the way out in the transfer window his role in the midfield will only expand. I think Fulham is a perfect place for him for the time being.

  28. MikeB says:

    I was born an Arsenal fan but I absolutely love to watch Fulham play. They obviously are having more fun than anyone and they have turned the Cottage into a fortress. And its more fun to see them win and hold the big teams than watching my Gunners drop points to the likes of Stoke, Sunderland, and Tottenham…

    I think anyone who reads Jimmy Bullard’s biography and sees how hard he works would have a hard time rooting against him. Hands down he is one of my favorite players in the game.

    Congrats to Dempsey and the Whites today!

  29. Warren says:

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!! GO DEMPSEY!!!!!!! YOU CON DOOOOOO IYYYTTTT!!!!

  30. sublicon says:

    Fulham are going down.

  31. Erik Abarca says:

    “He’s coming into his own, and I actually believe he belongs, and needs to be on a “good” club to take his career further.”

    Posted by: Brett

    Let’s not go to far, he just started to get pt, before we can say that, he will need to do it for an entire season and on a consistant basics. He has been playing well as of late. But I would rather see him start every game for a mid table table team like Fulham is this year then go to a top half team and have to prove himself all over again and may not get a chance to play much.

    “Dempsey gives it his all for Fulham and then disappears for the USMNT”

    BK, i feel what u saying about Clint on the USMNT, he has looked slugish lately, but i think it was due to his lack of playing time w Fulham during the qualifiers, and jet lag. He can most def do better, lets hope this run continues for him at Fulham and thru the next round of qualifiers and gives us a boast. We need goals at he USMNT big time!!!

  32. A Rickey says:

    To the poster who suggests that the Dempsey/Ching pairing is what he wants to see. I just have a few questions for you.

    What are you smoking and where can I score some?

    It’s already been tried and it’s been a pretty bad failure.

    Yes, just what every USA fan is looking for. Two slow strikers. Look, I like Dempsey as much as the next guy but the only real position for him is either at right midfield or as a withdrawn striker paired with someone who can actually move (Altidore). Pairing Dempsey with that already glacially slow Ching might get you thru CONCACAF qualifying (remember they were the forward duo during our stirring wins at Guatemala and Cuba) but it won’t make a dent at the next level.

    I’m not even sure that duo could get the US thru the Hex without some difficulty.

  33. Joamiq says:

    “Dempsey’s scores two”?

  34. ag nigrin says:

    +1 Joamiq… Ives has probably been sipping too much egg nog :)

  35. Ives says:

    Damn guys, can a brother get a break during the holiday? I was originally writing “Dempsey’s brace..” as the headline but changed my mind and forgot to change the beginning.

    Joamiq and Ag Nigrin, you’re lucky you’re SBI captains so I know you dudes are just messing with me, otherwise I might actually be mad. LOL

  36. Alex says:

    Man, Dempsey has been on the front page of ESPN Soccernet all day long. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen an American on their for any extended period.

  37. sublicon says:

    Alex – I can, when he scored the goal against Liverpool two years ago that saved Fulham from relegation.

  38. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I’ll agree with Brett above, Dempsey’s left footed cross after deeking A. Cole was a beauty.

    And count me with those that believe playing time is important on club teams to make you a national team contributor. Dempsey is on form, Howard, Gooch, Boca & Dolo. Bradley as well…Donovan is a must, but who else will play with those 6 come the 11th of Feb?

  39. MB says:

    ives, can you post clips of Deuce’s goals?

  40. Josh says:

    Not great quality but found clips here:
    link to simplyreds.com

  41. William says:

    Good enough goals. Nothing spectacular — just good positioning and intelligent moves.

    You guys calm down with your Ronaldo comparisons.

  42. Brett says:

    I haven’t seen any crazy talk about Dempsey yet. Just that he’s a quality player with drive and determination who learns the game well.

    Although, to be fair to Deuce, he can dazzle with the skills. Anyone see his backflip bike kick a couple matches ago? And we all know he’s got the flip-flap in his arsenal, although I can’t recall him using it recently.

  43. Proof says:

    Dempsey 2 Chelsea 2

  44. Roman Abramovich says:

    Comrade Putin, what must we do about this American scourge?

  45. Jose Mourinho says:

    DIE CHELSKI SCUM!!

  46. Dan says:

    I was at the game and Dempsey was fantastic. He’s got great feet, linked the ball well and won almost everything in the air against Ashley Cole. I’d agree with the people up the thread who say that his improved performances have got a lot to do with Roy Hodgson – watching Clint week in week out for the best part of three years now, you can see that he’s really progressed.

    He’ll probably treasure that goal against Liverpool for ages because it was his first and yes it was important but any Fulham fan will tell you that those two goals were massive. Anyway, Dempsey’s fast becoming a cult hero at Fulham and he’s got a quality song for the fans to serenade him with too.

    Really enjoyed the thread – keep up the good work Ives!

  47. off topic, but anyone know when the January camp roster will be announced? Methinks they should have announced it by now or in the next couple of days.

  48. fieldsy says:

    the second goal by dempsey was amazing. now if he can only do this vs. mexico in february, we’ll be all set.

  49. Modibo says:

    Dempsey 2 Chelsea 2

    Posted by: Proof | December 28, 2008 at 05:45 PM

    Actually Dempsey 2 Lampard 2.

  50. AltiCooper says:

    What is Spector’s main position? I understand he is very versatile… but is he a ligit left Back option or does he project more to be a center back? What did he/does he play for West Ham? God I hope he can become a Left Back. Or boc moves there for good

  51. Dempsey was amazing today. To score twice out of so few chances (2!) – such intuition to be where he was, such clinical finishing where being clinical is hard. A true soccer hero for the day!

    One aspect of his game I truly enjoyed today were his tackles and passing. He was a midfield workhorse and made Chelsea’s life difficult… then he shows up for a couple great goals on those rare instances the ball was in front of the Chelsea goal… fantastic!

  52. Travis in Miami says:

    Lampard was “Man of the Match”. WTF?

    Dan, I could have sworn I heard a Dempsey song after his bicycle attempt in the last game. That’s sweet. Any chance of sharing those lyrics?

    I hope Deuce is talking to Mr. Adu about fighting for his spot.

  53. Isaac says:

    A Rickey.

    I wouldn’t mind Dempsey as a forward next to Jozy. Dempsey can play as an attacking midfielder too (he did it for New England) and then Donovan can play as the forward next to Jozy. It just seems like Dempsey seems more at ease at the center of the attack. I geuss we’ll see come qualifier time.

  54. jddjsjsjdd says:

    Dempsey scored 2 great goals against 1 of the best clubs in the world. That is way impressive especially for an American.

    On every soccer site today the cover story has been Gerrard scoring 2 for Liverpool bashing of Newcastle and Dempsey’s 2 to dent Chelsea’s title ambition. Truly amazing.

  55. TorresyVilla says:

    Dempsey scored 6 out of 18games in the 1st half of last season as a striker and 4 this 1st half as a sub then starter. I expect him to double his goals for the next half.

    He’s scoring more than Andy Johnson. Has he scored 3 or 4 goals? Surely not worth £11 million. Looks like Dempsey to save the day.

  56. HenrikSuperSwedishWarrior says:

    Howard

    Pearce(Spector) Gooch Boca Cherundolo

    Bradley Kljestan

    Dempsey Adu(Beasley)

    Donovan(Cooper) Altidore

    Bradley needs this lineup during the next round of qualifying. I know it will net success.

  57. IreneIsNotMyGod says:

    Howard posting back to back shutouts. Boca having a fantastic season at Rennes. Dempsey is settling into becoming a true legend for Fulham. Gooch is having a superstar season for Liege and set to leave for Marseille or PSG. Kljestan is heading to Europe. Altidore is fantastic as a super-sub at Villareal. Cherundolo is having another decent season. Bradley is on a possible relegation team but he’s putting himself forward.

    Only problems are Adu and Pearce and Donovan.

  58. USA hole says:

    Hopefully Donovan will impress when the German season resumes.

  59. jddjsjsjdd says:

    I figure Donovan will do great as a super-sub. Should play well as a striker alongside either Klose or Toni. His speed and size can be used to his advantage in the Bundesliga. If he can get multiple assists or just 6goals in his first season, then i’d say he’s a success.

  60. Isaac says:

    jddjsjsjdd

    Donovan might just sub in and play behind Klose and Toni as a third forward/ attacking midfielder in a 4-1-2-1-2

  61. Voodoo says:

    I hate to pee on everybody’s coco puffs, but that first Dempsey goal was more an indictment of shameful defending on Chelsea’s part than a tribute to Clint’s talent.

    It was a meatless, moist, and exceptionally SOFT goal.

    His second goal was respectable.

  62. Modibo says:

    Voodoo –
    Clint still had to a) be in the right place at the right time; and b) put the ball past the 11 players who were doing everything they could to prevent him from doing so. So Dempsey’s goal was not pretty, and yeah, he took advantage of poor defending. He could have been hanging about the corner of the 18 waiting for a deflection, but he wasn’t. Props to him for sussing out the meatless, moist, and soft spot in the Chelsea defense. It was also an unexpected use of the outside of his right foot instead of trying to turn with his left or pass back. That’s how to score in a goalline scrum – use whatever you can, as quickly as possible, to put the ball on goal. No style points were awarded – just a goal. I’ll take the goal any thanks very much.

  63. BlueWhiteLion says:

    someone mentioned watching Fulham on the internet. Where can you?

    Nice reading all the reactions, having not seen the game, you helped me “live it.” (a little sentimental holiday spirit, there!)

  64. Tom says:

    >>>mourinho thinks dempsey is better than ronaldo

    >>>Posted by: Eric R | December 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    And, of course, Eric never returns to answer questions about his post early in the thread.

    What in the world was he on about?

  65. Rick says:

    I hope Clint is still in this form when we play the Mexicants.

  66. adam says:

    He scores with his left, he scores with his right! That boy Clint Dempsey makes Drogba look Shite!!

  67. adam says:

    He scores with his left, he scores with his right! That boy Clint Dempsey makes Drogba look Sh!te

  68. jc says:

    anybody pick up what that celebration was? i couldnt exactly make it out…

  69. Aco93 says:

    He scores with his left, he scores with his right! That boy Clint Dempsey makes Drogba look Sh!te

    Posted by: adam | December 29, 2008 at 02:33 AM

    But Ivory Coast with Drogba will makes usa and dempsey look sh!te in the world cup

  70. matt c says:

    Dempsey’s goals here:

    link to fulhamfc.com

    Excellent news about Spector.

  71. Speedball says:

    Damn guys, can a brother get a break during the holiday? I was originally writing “Dempsey’s brace..” as the headline but changed my mind and forgot to change the beginning.

    Joamiq and Ag Nigrin, you’re lucky you’re SBI captains so I know you dudes are just messing with me, otherwise I might actually be mad. LOL

    Posted by: Ives | December 28, 2008 at 03:08 PM

    Sorry Ives, but the headline should have been “Dempsey drops a Deuce on Chelsea”.

  72. Collin says:

    Almost hit my head on the ceiling in my basement after the second.

    Nothing better than watching an American single-handedly put Liverpool two additional points clear of the blues…

  73. hartman says:

    anybody know the backstory to clint’s new goal celebration?

  74. BoRiUaNo616 says:

    chelsea wasnt even tryin!

  75. Brett says:

    Hartman – For the first goal: It looked to me like he was twisting open a bottle (a beer one would assume) and drinking in celebration.

    Voodoo – Can’t give him due credit, huh? Agreed that someone lost their man, but can we not give him credit for losing said man? For following the play and getting the space to collect? Besides, there was still lots to do from where Clint was. He was on the line with his back to goal and first had to control the ball from the air, and in less than a second, raise his foot to push the ball backwards to the goal. As I said earlier, anyone would have forgiven him for simply putting a pass back into the mix, but instead he cooly slotted home a go-ahead goal.

  76. bwilder says:

    1. I thought Clint was consistently strong and in the middle of action all over the field.

    2. How do you get Fulham games on the computer?

  77. bkupp says:

    FSC is replaying it at 3:00pm EST if anyone missed it (like me!).

  78. gofirego says:

    wow, he now is co-leading scorer for Fulham, despite spending a lot of time on the bench and playing as a winger. He just does not get the respect that he deserves. On that team, I think only Bullard and Simon Davies have his skill on the ball. Their front-runners, Zamora and Andy Johnson, are second or third rate at best. Deuce shoudl be an automatic in their team.

    I don’t know how many minutes he has logged for each goal. He could easily have more this season, after he came close so many times in recent games. Shame he never got to play much with McBride, who was far better than any forwards they have now.

  79. lawrenceterp says:

    He looks like Robert Downey Jr.

  80. metrostar 4 life says:

    unbelieavble. game’s on FSC right now if anyone wants to see it