DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, December 6, 2011
When Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey put away spilled save by Pepe Reina in the 85th minute on Monday night against legendary team Liverpool FC, he not only earned the Cottagers an important three points but also furthered his case for being the top American field player to ever compete in England's top division.
With the goal, his 37th in the Premier League since joining Fulham nearly five years ago, the Texan officially broke Brian McBride's record for goals scored by an American in the division.
The record-breaking goal offers some symmetry to a highly successful spell with the team; his first time to find net after joining Fulham came on May 5, 2007, when his 70th-minute goal in the second half was the only score in a 1-0 victory over Liverpool, a result which ultimately secured the Cottagers' place in the Premier League for the following season.
The calendar year 2011 was already a record breaking year for the Nacogdoches-born attacker, having claimed Fulham's all-time Premier League scoring crowd back in late-April when he scored his 32nd and 33rd goals against Bolton to pass McBride and Steed Malbranque on the list.
With four goals through the team's first 14 games, Dempsey is again on pace to be the team's top marksman for a second straight season in league play, and stands to have another shot at the latter stages of the Europa League in the early months of 2012 after playing a major role in the team's run to the final two years ago.