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When Clint Dempsey became the Premier League’s top American scorer

December 6, 2016

This day in football history

(Matt Dunham/AP)

On 6 December 2011, Clint Dempsey became the Premier League’s highest-scoring American with his match-winner against Liverpool.

Dempsey moved to the Premier League in January 2007 to play for Fulham, joining his compatriots Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra. He went on to make 10 appearances that season, scoring a single goal. By the following season, he began to feature regularly, scoring six goals in 36 league appearances, though the club escaped relegation that year only by virtue of goal differential.

He continued to feature for them over the next three seasons, scoring seven, seven, and 12 goals, as the club finished seventh, 12th, and eighth. By the time they hosted Liverpool in December 2011, Dempsey had raised his league goal total to 36, matching the record for an American in the Premier League, which, coincidentally, had been set by McBride.

With the match scoreless deep into the second half, Liverpool’s Jay Spearing received a straight red card in the 72nd minute, giving the hosts a man advantage for the remaining 18 minutes. And they needed almost all of them, with Dempsey finally breaking the deadlock with an 85th-minute goal that also broke McBride’s record.

Dempsey proceeded to raise his Premier League total to 50 before moving to Tottenham for the 2012–13 season, then added another seven before returning to the U.S. in 2013 to play for Seattle.





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