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Clint Dempsey named U.S. Soccer's 2012 Male Athlete of the Year

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Clint Dempsey named U.S. captain for World Cup qualifiers
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Clint Dempsey named U.S. captain for World Cup qualifiers

Clint Dempsey was been named U.S. Soccer's 2012 Male Athlete of the Year on Monday, marking the third time the forward has been handed the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States.

Dempsey, who previously won the award in 2007 and 2011, becomes the second three-time winner of the award, with goalkeeper Kasey Keller also winning three times. Landon Donovan, a four-time winner, is the only player to have won more.

“I’ve been trying to better myself every year and do my part to help the team do well," Dempsey told U.S. Soccer's official website. "I want to thank the fans for voting for me. It’s always great to be recognized for doing a good job, but at the same time it’s been a team effort from all the players and the coaches."

Dempsey led U.S. scorers in 2012 with six goals, including five in the group stage of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. He now has 30 goals in his international career, tied with Brian McBride for third all-time.

“I have found a little bit more consistency in front of the goal. I’ve been working hard in that area, and also trying to find other ways to help the team," Dempsey said. "There’s more I can contribute and more I can do better.”

On the club level, Dempsey concluded his career at Fulham as the team's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League before moving to Tottenham in August in one of the highest-profile deals ever for an American abroad. Dempsey scored 23 goals in all competitions for Fulham last season -- 17 of which came in Premier League play -- breaking his own record for goals by an American in England.

Michael Bradley, Herculez Gomez, Tim Howard and Fabian Johnson were the other player nominated for the award.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
1984: Rick Davis
1985: Perry Van der Beck
1986: Paul Caligiuri
1987: Brent Goulet
1988: Peter Vermes
1989: Mike Windischmann
1990: Tab Ramos
1991: Hugo Perez
1992: Marcelo Balboa
1993: Thomas Dooley
1994: Marcelo Balboa
1995: Alexi Lalas
1996: Eric Wynalda
1997: Kasey Keller
1998: Cobi Jones
1999: Kasey Keller
2000: Chris Armas
2001: Earnie Stewart
2002: Brad Friedel
2003: Landon Donovan
2004: Landon Donovan
2005: Kasey Keller
2006: Oguchi Onyewu
2007: Clint Dempsey
2008: Tim Howard
2009: Landon Donovan
2010: Landon Donovan
2011: Clint Dempsey
2012: Clint Dempsey

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