Friday, January 27, 2012

Donovan Stars in Head-to-Head with Dempsey

Over the past year or so people have been beginning to question whether or not Clint Dempsey has supplanted Landon Donovan as the face of the U.S. National Team. While their was no doubt that during the World Cup it was Donovan's team, 2011 told a different story. Donovan scored just once for the U.S. while Clint Dempsey notched a team high 5 goals, including 3 during the Gold Cup. Dempsey also saw his game at the club level reach new heights when he set an American record with 12 goals in an English Premier League season. Dempsey's scoring prowess continued into this season with 15 more goals for Fulham across all competitions including a pair of hat tricks this month. While Donovan has still been productive - he scored 12 regular season goals for the Galaxy last year and added the winning goal in the MLS Cup Final - his accomplishments in Major League Soccer aren't viewed in the same light as what Dempsey's achieved in England. And suddenly there it was. Had Dempsey caught up to or even passed Donovan?
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Based on what we saw today, and today alone, I think you'd have to say that the answer is no. Landon Donovan led Everton to a 2-1 win this afternoon over Clint Dempsey and Fulham in the 4th round of England's FA Cup.While Dempsey struggled to involve himself in the match, Donovan assisted on both Everton goals allowing them to overcome their early 1-0 deficit and advance in the tournament. He has now tallied 4 assists in 6 his matches with Everton since coming over on loan from the Galaxy. While the question about Dempsey vs Donovan isn't likely to go away any time soon, American soccer fans should be excited about the fact that their two biggest playmakers are playing at such a high level at the same time. With World Cup Qualifying just months away, this is exactly what the U.S. will need to earn themselves a ticket to Brazil in 2014.
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What do you guys think? If you could only have one of them right now, which one would you take? Donovan? Or Dempsey?

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