The Yanks Are Coming
The World Cup ambitions of US Soccer and the United States Mens National Team (USMNT) firmly rest on the shoulders of Clint Dempsey. Most people would argue the fact that other players are more important than the Fulham FC midfielder, but the case remains that when Dempsey is on, he's ON.
Two players that are arguably more important would be Tim Howard and Landon Donovan. Both players are undoubtably the best assets to Team America, but their time together at Everton would show you that both never have a dip in form. Donovan showed his talent throughout his loan period in England, scoring vital goals and even helping in a 5-1 demolition of fellow American Jozy Altidore's Hull City.
All of this being said, Dempsey is the man that must not go missing in South Africa. The American has struggled with injuries in the second half of the season but is now back to full action for Fulham. The tale tell sign of a quality athlete is the ability to bring the people around you to greater heights, and that's just what he did.
Fulham were slumping in the Europa League, having been turned over by David Trezeguet's Juventus in Turin 3-1 in the first leg. Dempsey made his return from injury that night, playing out the final 30 minutes and helping Fulham not conceded any more against the Italian giants.
After a week of full training, Dempsey came on to score the game winning goal as Fulham stunned Juventus at Craven Cottage. Dempsey also created sparks in last summers Confederations Cup Tournament in South Africa, the pre-World Cup tune up for the host nation. Game after game the American would turn on his jets and snag the US a vital goal, pushing them to the finals where he scored in the 3-2 loss to eventual winners Brazil.
From the Confederations Cup to the World Cup, from the Premier League to the Europa League, Dempsey will need to be firing on all cylinders if the US Mens National Team has any chance at making in a run in the tournament.