Dempsey returns to Fulham on two-month loan from Sounders

Clint Dempsey of Fulham

photo by Neil Tingle/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Clint Dempsey is making his way back to Craven Cottage.

After weeks of rumors and reports, the Seattle Sounders announced on Tuesday that they have sent Dempsey on a two-month loan to Premiership side Fulham. Specific details for the loan were not given but it is expected that Dempsey will join the relegation-threatened Cottagers at the beginning of the new year before returning to Seattle prior to the start of the MLS season on March 8.

That estimated timeframe means Dempsey could make his Fulham return as soon as on Jan. 1 against West Ham United, though that seems unlikely given that he needs to return to match fitness and familiarize himself with his new teammates.

Other notable matches Dempsey could partake in for Fulham – who are in 19th place right now and have scored just 17 times in as many games – are a Jan. 11 tilt against Jozy Altidore’s Sunderland, a clash with Arsenal seven days later, and a road contest vs. Manchester United on Feb. 9.

The 30-year-old Dempsey, who is looking to round into form ahead of the 2014 World Cup, is coming off his first season in MLS. He made 12 combined appearances in the regular season and playoffs for the Sounders, scoring one goal and adding an assists.

Dempsey previously spent six seasons with the Cottages from 2007 until mid-2012. He scored 52 goals and had 18 assists in 184 appearances for the club, including a career-high 17 goals in the 2011-12 season.

Dempsey also holds the record for most goals scored by an American in England’s top flight with 57, which he amassed by playing for Fulham and Tottenham.

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What do you think of Dempsey joining Fulham on a two-month loan? Think it will be successful for him? Do you see him helping the Cottagers climb out of the drop zone?

Share your thoughts below.

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50 Responses to Dempsey returns to Fulham on two-month loan from Sounders

  1. JZ says:

    Great news for Dempsey! I think he can make an immediate impact with Fulham now that he has finally had a “preseason” with Seattle. I just wish he had never left the EPL. I can’t help but wonder whether he regrets the move or at least regrets what has essentially been almost a lost year.

    • go yikes says:

      I agree. I miss those weekends watching him at Fulham or Spurs. It truly was 1 of the best things of PL weekends. Had he not left Fulham he would probably be close to 70 PL goals by now and being named their best player ever

      • Yevgeniy says:

        And how about weekends now (well not now, but starting in March) when you and others can watch him play in our own league and even in person for a lot of people? I can never understand why people woke up on weekend to watch him play, but now have no interest to watch him in prime time. Not sure if this applies to you, but talking about some others

        • Nate Dollars says:

          don’t know about anybody else, but i have a lot more soccer-watching time on saturday mornings than i do on saturday nights.

        • Skyman says:

          Yeah it’s two fold: Sat mornings are perfect for watching soccer at my house, and……how can you compare the EPL and MLS, as if there close to the same? Don’t get me wrong the MLS has improved, but, seeing a Nat in one of the best leagues, scoring goals, is as good as it gets for us in the current era.

        • FulhamDC says:

          Nearly half the country lives in the eastern time zone, and we don’t watch soccer at 11 pm.

    • GW says:

      JZ,

      I don’t know what Dempsey thinks but I’ll bet, while he regrets not being in the EPL, he is glad to be away from AVB.

      There is this myth that every year he fought his way off the bench at Fulham but the truth is other than is first season Clint averaged about 42 appearances across all competitions for Fulham, which is the same as what he did for Spurs, though there were probably more sub appearances for Spurs than what he did at Fulham.

      That is pretty much regular playing time for an EPL player.

      My guess is AVB did not see Clint that way.

      • beachbum says:

        GW, come on man. what you refer to as myth is anything but. His number of appearances is a testament to his toughness and competitiveness in insisting thru his performances to be first choice after not being chosen first by numerous managers over there…you and all of us love and respect this quality in him so much and discuss it all the time! And he deserves the credit that goes with his journey to earning those games seems to me

        • GW says:

          No one doubts Deuce’s toughness, work ethic etc., except for those of you who suddenly think that because he had a hard time adapting to Seattle what with the transitions, Seattle’s own so –so team and his injuries, he has suddenly gone soft.
          Had he gone soft he would simply stay here in the US and not risk looking falling on his face at Fulham.
          The myth part is that Clint somehow constantly had to prove himself to the Fulham managers in a manner that was somehow different from any other EPL player. The dreaded anti- American card. As if the Brits are only prejudiced against Americans.
          This is a myth and is BS.
          After his first season, in the next four seasons, he always had around 42 appearances. He was a regular for four years.
          If you look carefully at the time period, that puts him in the company of such ever- presents as Danny Murphy and Brede Hangeland. But maybe you think those two did not deserve their playing time?
          Did he have to prove himself to new managers? Sure, but I’ve watched the EPL a long time and in general everyone has to prove themselves all the time. “Lazy “ players don’t play much in the EPL.
          Clint was no different from the other mainstays. Given his appearances it didn’t take him very long to prove himself.
          It is BS that the Brits all hate Clint. When he had that last big year at Fulham he placed fourth in the writer’s poll for player of the year. He finished behind, RVP, Rooney and Scholes in that order.
          Here’s where it gets interesting.
          In that poll, the writer, none of whom were Americans, I’m, pretty sure, got to name just one player. There were no second and third place votes added up. Just one player mentioned.
          This means a fair number of professional Brit writers thought Dempsey was better that year than RVP and the rest. That is high praise from informed people especially when you think about the year RVP had.

  2. John says:

    I wonder if any others will be taking Klinsmann advice in trying to find a loan. Haven’t seen too many rumors around anyone else up to this point. However I have seen Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan could be going to West Ham in January.

  3. Brett says:

    I doubt he steps back into the starting eleven, but he should get minutes and he needs to regain his form before the summer.

    • MisterJC says:

      I don’t know about the first couple of games, they didn’t bring him there to warm the bench. He’ll start…

  4. Jon says:

    The Messiah is born (again?)

  5. byob el paso tx says:

    Oh i thought he missed the family and the american culture? But maybe he realized that MLS sucks and he hates playing on fake grass and his teammates are soccer incompetent.
    He is such a barbie thug.

  6. Freddie Footballer says:

    I think he might be better served in camp cupcake and having preseason with new teammates in Seattle, that’s the safer bet. But he could get a lot of minutes at Fulham and this might help him find his form again, provided he doesn’t get injured. I think it’s a bit of a risk. Will it pay off? I hope so.

    • GW says:

      Freddie Footballer :

      “I think he might be better served in camp cupcake and having preseason with new teammates in Seattle, that’s the safer bet.”

      Maybe, but unlike you, I’m not about to tell Dempsey he does not know what he needs to get back into form. It seems to me a lot of people had the same attitude towards LD and he came back pretty strong as I recall.

      Your attitude seems to be the prevailing attitude of most USMNT fans. Be conservative, stick with what you know, take as few risks as possible and preserve what we have so the US can make a respectable showing in Brazil.

      The thing is the Dempsey that you have right NOW is not good enough for Brazil. He had a poor showing for Seattle due it seems to obvious transition woes every player has, complicated by injuries further complicated by what looked to me , as an outsider, by what seemed to be a very unsettled Sounders side.

      In that case what Dempsey is doing seems perfectly normal. You heal up, get fit and then you go back to basics, go back to where you had the most success.Injury is a risk but that is true regardless of where you play or train.

      If Clint can get back on track in London and then go back to Seattle and make whatever crew Seattle has assembled play up to his level then that makes a lot more sense to a neutral observer. Besides that is why Seatlle bought him anyway, to make them better

      . And in MLS the format is forgiving so Clint has the early part of the MLS season to figure it out with his Seattle teammates anyway.

      • beachbum says:

        disagree re. the attitude towards LD when he left as basically everyone was clamoring for it as I recall. And he was good before he left anyway, what he did was go show it over there.

        Anyway, re. Clint, he’s at a new team and league that both paid a ton for him but he has struggled to focus here. His technique and skills were and are fine still, but he did not mesh with teammates and his approach was all off mentally as he struggled above the shoulders with his new teammates

        So it’s best he leaves for England for 2 months to focus on another team and league and then return just in time for MLS and his season with his real teammates, like an afterthought? and this will prep him best for Brazil?

        we’ll see. hope he doesn’t get injured. I’m pulling for him

        • Herschel skywalker says:

          His form at Seattle has nothing to do with “focus.” You couldn’t find a more focused guy. Rather, it has a lot to do with the quality of (1) the refs, and (2) the football in MLS. As repeated by many, the football is getting better, but because the reffing allows the best players to either take a beating or learn to seek protection by trying to get guys carded (like LD has to do all the time) the game suffers and the skill of the players goes unimproved until guys start getting into trouble. As long as they can beat down a guy, why should defenders try to play with them? Also, it is hard to position a guy like Dempsey, and coaching and playing with him require more subtlety and skill than MLS possesses now.

          • beachbum says:

            disagree with your take on his focus. Yes, he can be hyper focused, the Clint we all love. But he underestimated MLS and paid a price for it; turned out he could not simply show up and be effective but instead needed to prepare himself to compete…that is called focus, and he struggled with it last year

            and LD does not try to get guys carded all the time any more than Suarez does, or Neymar does, or any other number of players in whatever league that play with a target on their backs. The difference is that in MLS for Clint vs. BPL he’s the guy with the target on his back instead of a teammate like Bale, for example. and he struggled with that last year too seemed to me

            • Skyman says:

              BS. He was targeted at Fulham. It’s true that Clint didn’t play 100% all the time in the MLS, but he is a professional, and he has given more than his share effort and gall on the pitch. The field, and mainly the reffing which has created a more physical style of football, didn’t bode well for a physically and mentally adjusting Dempsey.

              • beachbum says:

                what is BS? Clint had to fight to find the field each and every year at Fulham just to prove his worth to his manager year after year. He was the overlooked one who always had to play with a chip on his shoulder because he was not respected! totally different in the MLS where he is the highest paid player and has the biggest target possible on his back. Nothing close to that at Fulham.

              • GW says:

                Your arguments re Dempsey’s transition seem to ignore the fact that he was not healthy.

              • beachbum says:

                GW, not even. the fact he wasn’t healthy is even more reason to the argument that his best move right now may very well be to stay in Seattle and MLS, who just paid $9M for him.

                This is fun conversation with you all, thanks. And again, I hope it works out for him and I’m pulling for him.

            • Herschel Skywalker says:

              Agree he has the target now when he didn’t to the same extent in England. But the reffing in MLS also causes him more problems. That’s actually what he said after his first few games back in MLS – he complained that he was getting injured bc the refs were allowing him to take such a beating, even though he thought the players we’re bring “smart”, i.e. only doing what they could get away with. I don’t think his focus or work rate off the field has anything to do with it. He’s a pretty tough, fit dude. He didn’t have a preseason last summer and came into the league at end of season and got his ass kicked all over the place bc of his big name and big salary, and weak reffing. He will not come back this year until after the WC btw, which is his real focus and mine to, despite Ives’ protestations.

              • beachbum says:

                no arguments about MLS refs my man. rough crowd, in fact our whole CONACAF region has a dearth of quality with refs.

                I love Clint, hope it all works out. Cheers Herschel

        • GW says:

          “disagree re. the attitude towards LD when he left as basically everyone was clamoring for it as I recall. And he was good before he left anyway, what he did was go show it over there.”

          Just to clarify re Donovan, I should have made clear I was referring to his Cambodian vacation not his Everton loan.

          “So it’s best he leaves for England for 2 months to focus on another team and league and then return just in time for MLS and his season with his real teammates, like an afterthought? and this will prep him best for Brazil?”

          Sure. Fulham is where Clint had his most success and he obviously feels comfortable there. This is a guy who was not blessed with great physical gifts, and lifted himself out of mediocrity and made himself the amazing scorer he was there.

          Why do you think you know what is best for him in terms of getting his form back better than he does?

          As for injuries, he can get injured anywhere, anytime. His advancing years and the high mileage on his body have more to do with that than any other factor.

          • beachbum says:

            GW, relax my man, I don’t think I know what is best for him, but I am expressing an opinion based on the arguments laid out above. Good arguments btw and we’ll see. It’s not like every move guys make at the behest of coach or agent work out to their advantage, right? Lots of hit and miss with that. Shall I list the carnage on the side of the road from bad transfer decisions? I’m questioning the move, we’ll see. Hope I’m wrong!

            and as for injuries, if he doesn’t play for 2 months in the BPL he doesn’t risk that 2 months for injury. simple equation there my friend!

            • GW says:

              ” It’s not like every move guys make at the behest of coach or agent work out to their advantage, right? ”

              Do you really think a guy like Clint would make this move if he really did not want to? If he thought it was a bad idea?

              • GW says:

                beachbum,

                I would add that I doubt the Sounders are in love with this move. It puts their season before and after the World Cup at some degree of risk, not that I care.
                But Clint did have it as a condition in his contract. So love it or not it is clear the World Cup is the priority with Clint here.

                No doubt, Clint thinks he will do well in London , come back strong and lead the Sounders to wherever they have to go and then do well at the World Cup. We’ll see.

  7. go yikes says:

    I pray he leads the US to the quarter finals and scores 3 goals and has 2 assists in the WORLD CUP

    and becomes the best ever player for the USA

  8. THomas says:

    Fulham is gonna need more help than just a mercenary Dempsey. Come on Kahn…open up that checkbook!

    Come on yoooooou whites!!!

  9. Rich says:

    Swim or sink Dempsey… We’ll see if he has anything left. This is a risky move because if he can’t impress there, or plays and looks like he did in MLS, JK may have second thoughts on where he fits with the NATs

  10. Leon de Collao says:

    Let’s hope he regains some semblance of his earlier form. To say he underwhelmed for the sounders would be a huge understatement. He gets a pass from a lot of people cause he’s deuce but he’s got to be in the conversation for biggest DP busts if he doesn’t step it up next year. Hope for the nats sake he can.

  11. Juan says:

    I’m hoping I’m wrong but I personally think he’s done. If he can’t impress in 2 months there, I hope JK doesn’t pencil him in as a starter on the NATs. We need our best 11 on the field this summer and if he’s really dropped off, as I suspect, the JK needs to move on

  12. B16 says:

    I would not be totally shocked for him to not make the Brazil roster-he has something to prove and need to show on loan he deserves a spot on the plane to Brazil.

  13. GJJ says:

    As a Fulham supporter, I can’t wait to see him hit the field for Fulham. It’s been a wretched year and at this point I am willing to try anything.