The most incredible non-US men's football moment I've ever experienced was on a Thursday in 2010. Fulham hosted Juventus in the Europa League. The English team led 3-1 that day, but the aggregate was tied at 4-4.
In the 82nd minute, Clint Dempsey received the ball at the top of the box at the corner of the "D", took his first touch wide, took his second touch towards goal, and took his third touch to the keeper of the Juventus to hit the back post. As the ball hovered up and over the helpless Antonio Chimenti, he felt unreal.
An American scored in the Europa League semi-final.
An American scored a chip of 18 yards.
An American even tries a chip like that. Not a Brazilian or Argentinian or Frenchman.
A @ # $% ^ & * & ^% $ & * & # 39; American.
And despite the incredible nature of the piece, it was not surprising. It was perfectly normal for what we had known Dempsey. We have developed good players in our country. But we've never had anyone like Dempsey, who called on Wednesday in his 1
There has never been an American footballer with more sauce or more heart than Clint Dempsey.
I came to interviewe the legend in 2016, asked him what he would do when he retired and he just laughed and said, "Man. CHILL."
You deserve Clint, sit back and enjoy a beer.
– A West (@ayyy_west) August 29, 2018
Dempsey alone has been at the forefront of all American football talks with his numbers. He has scored the most goals for the USMNT. He is the only American who scored in three consecutive World Cups. He scored in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup against Spain and the final against Brazil. He scored 57 goals in the English Premier League and another 72 in Major League Soccer. Two MLS Best XI's, MLS All-Star on Four Odds, Rookie of the Year and Three MLS Cup appearances
Yet, the numbers barely scratch the surface of Dempsey's contributions to the country's game.
If you consider the Pantheon of elitist American male players:
- Landon Donovan
- Claudio Reyna
- Tab Ramos
- Brian McBride
- Eddie Pope
- John Harkes
- Carlos Bocanegra [19659016Etcetc
How many of them had sauce ?
How many of them made the Rabona a regular part of their repertoire?
How many of them had a celebration that the children around them had tried to emulate?
How many of them would have done that to someone?
She: Clint demsey has retired.
– Mark Asher Goodman (@soccer_rabbi) August 29, 2018
A lot of people talk about the beauty ful Game. Dempsey made it possible.
The native Texan did not change who we are as a football nation. But he put up a new bar for who we – American football players – could be . An American can opt for the chip. An American can play as if he owes nothing to anyone. An American can try things .
Carry on, boy. Let's go.
There is a concrete football concept that summarizes Dempsey's career. If you need a goal in a hard moment – if the game is a mess and the players are desperate and the whole thing looks lost – is there anyone else in the history of American male football you would have on the field?
Deuce was the bravest player the USMNT has ever seen – there was never a moment when Dempsey did not want the ball. He did not play well in every game in which he played, but he never shied . And in the end, no matter how he played that day, month or year, he was the one you wanted on the pitch to try to win the game. When everyone else has been trapped, you know that Dempsey did not do a crap.
We build statues for athletes who have achieved things in the field. We tell legends of those who have changed our way of thinking. Dempsey opened doors to what Americans can do and how we can think about ourselves.
One day my kids will ask me about Dempsey. I'll tell them about the chip against Juventus. You will be smiling, but not surprised. Because they already tried it with their friends in the playground.
And we have to thank Clint Dempsey for that.