Dempsey’s fourth season in England was his most prolific. He scored nine goals in all competitions and his tally of 20 in the Premier League over the last three seasons is more than any other Fulham player.
Tenacious as well as skilful, he marked his return from a seven-week lay-off with a knee injury by scoring with a sublime chip to earn Fulham a 5-4 aggregate win over Juventus in the Europa League in March.
Dempsey once played two games with a broken jaw while at New England Revolution before it was diagnosed.
His performances in the World Cup qualifying campaign were patchy but he hit top form in South Africa last summer by scoring in three successive games at the Confederations Cup: against Egypt, Spain and in the final against Brazil.
His first international goal was in the 2-1 defeat to England in 2005. The following year he scored the only goal by a US player at the World Cup, against Ghana.
Dempsey often plays on the wing for club and country but has proved effective when pushed up front. He scored the winning goal in a World Cup warm-up against Turkey while playing as a forward.
Dempsey’s childhood home was a trailer in his grandparents’ garden in Nacogdoches, a small town in Texas which made international headlines in 2003 when it was showered with debris from the doomed space shuttle Columbia.
He honed his football skills playing on nearby wasteland but experienced family tragedy as a youngster when his older sister Jennifer – a talented tennis player – died suddenly from a brain aneurysm at the age of 16.
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