Clint Dempsey can’t catch a break. Ever since he left Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for the MLS’s Seattle Sounders, Deuce has struggled to find consistency. He scored only once in nine appearances with his new club, and was battling injuries until the Sounders were knocked out of the MLS Playoffs by their conference rivals.
The offseason has given him some time to recover, and he completed what was a very hopeful two-month loan deal to Fulham FC, a club where he experienced major success years ago. The expectation was that the loan would help both Fulham and Dempsey, who needed some competitive action to return to form since the Sounders’ early playoff exit last November.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Not only has he not scored for the Cottagers, but he has played so poorly, that he has not even made the team’s 18-man roster the previous two games. What really worries both Sounders and U.S. National team fans, is that Fulham is currently dead last in the Premier League.
The U.S. captain has one more game left in his two-month loan contract with Fulham, but it’s unclear if he’ll even be able to sit on the bench for it. The loan spell has proven to be a massive disappointment for both parties.
So what’s this mean for Seattle? Or even to the U.S. Men’s National Team? Well nothing if he turns it around, but there’s no denying that his performances have been discouraging. When your star player fails to make the squad of a last place team, it’s certainly disturbing. The timing couldn’t be worse either, since:
- He still has the pressure of living up to his big money MLS contract (only 1 goal and injury problems).
- The national team is only four months away from the World Cup in Brazil, where they’ll need their A-game from every man on the pitch in order to advance out of their Group of Death.
- He was supposed to gain valuable competitive game experience with the West-London club in the best league in the world, which did not happen.
- And finally, he could arrive in Seattle with a possible dented confidence, and needs to dedicate time to his teammates (pre-season is great for building team chemistry) before the fast approaching opening day of the season.
It’s not too late for the midfielder to turn his play around. There are still a couple weeks until the Sounders opener against Sporting Kansas City, the reigning MLS champions. There is also the possibility of receiving a call up to the national team to participate in a friendly against Ukraine on March 5. But Clint Dempsey needs to get it together, and fast.
Dempsey is a game changer, and his performances for both club and country are vital. His play could decide how competitive the Sounders will be this season, in addition to how far the American will go in Brazil.