U.S. international Clint Dempsey, who currently plays for the Seattle Sounders, will go on loan to England's Fulham FC for the early part of 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
RENTON, Washington -- Seattle Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey has signed a two-month loan with Fulham FC of the English Premier League, the sides announced Tuesday.
The 30-year-old returns to Craven Cottage having first signed a permanent deal for the club in January 2007 from the New England Revolution. Fulham is currently in the relegation zone with 13 points from 17 matches, only one point away from safety.
“I had a great time here and some of the best years of my football have been playing for this club,” Dempsey told FulhamFC.com. “That’s why I was excited about coming back here. It’s like home to me and I hope that I can help out and keep this club in the Premier League.”
During five-and-a-half seasons at Fulham (2007-2012), Dempsey scored 60 goals in 225 appearances in all competitions.
His successful tenure at the London-based club was highlighted by scoring the only goal of the match against visiting Liverpool in May 2007, which secured Premier League football for the Whites the following season. Dempsey also netted the fourth goal in a 4-1 victory against Juventus in the UEFA Europa League, which completed a dramatic 5-4 comeback triumph over two legs en route to the inaugural 2010 Final.
After being voted Fulham’s 2011/12 Player of the Season by the fans for a second consecutive term, he signed with Tottenham Hotspur in August 2012. There, Dempsey scored 12 goals in 43 total appearances, before he was transferred to Seattle on August 3, 2013.
Since Major League Soccer is in its offseason, the United States captain views the move as an ideal way to help with his former club, while maintaining his fitness and sharpness in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
“I wanted to get back to playing at the highest level, get back to top form, getting back and helping the team in a situation where they’re not where they want to be in the table,” said the three-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. “Going into a World Cup year, you want to get to that top form and carry that forward so hopefully you can have a good showing.”
Dempsey is expected to return to the U.S. prior to Seattle’s season-opener against Sporting Kansas City on March 8 at home.
NOTES: Dempsey holds the record for most goals (57) by an American in the English Premier League … In 2013, Dempsey made 12 appearances in regular-season and postseason play for Seattle, scoring one goal.