IRENE, South Africa (AP) - Clint Dempsey's right knee buckled at Blackburn last Jan. 17, and American soccer fans spent two days worrying. He wasn't anguished.
Dempsey returned to the national team last weekend, getting the go-ahead goal in a 2-1 exhibition win over Turkey. He was the only American to score at the 2006 World Cup and is counted on to provide the offensive spark for the U.S. at this year's tournament.
Yet, some American soccer fans feel he doesn't do as much for the national team as he does for Fulham. That small London club often times has held its own against the big boys of the English Premier League - and even Europe - over the past two seasons. The 27-year-old from Nacogdoches, Texas, scored nine goals this season for the Cottagers after netting eight in 2008-09 and six the previous season, his first full year with the Cottagers.