COMMENTARY | Bargain bin. Panic buy. Ploy to sell shirts in the United States.
These and other slating comments were popular among the Tottenham Hotspur faithful when the club swooped in for US international Clint Dempsey on 2012 deadline day. Dempsey's single-season Spurs career was hardly a failure despite what has been said by some with short memories. Most of his Tottenham goals were far from highlight-reel golazos, but several were significant tallies that changed his team's fortunes on those particular days.
Top Clint Dempsey Tottenham Hotspur moments: Historic first goal
It matters little to me that Dempsey's goal against Manchester United last September was more about the play of a few of his teammates than it was a great solo effort from the American. That tap-in proved to be the match winner that propelled Spurs to their first away victory against United since 1989. It was also a preview of future dramatics that were to come from the USMNT starter who haunted both Manchester clubs in 2012-13.
Top Clint Dempsey Tottenham Hotspur moments: Europa League savior
Dempsey was the top Tottenham star on an April night in Basel when Spurs were without key men Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale. He found the back of the net twice, and his goal eight minutes from time gave Spurs new life that they ultimately wasted. The night will more be remembered by the Tottenham faithful for that dreadful Emmanuel Adebayor penalty, but Dempsey certainly deserves a nod for essentially dragging Spurs to extra time.
Top Clint Dempsey Tottenham Hotspur moments: That Stoke goal
Empty net or no empty net, the goal that Dempsey buried at Stoke last May is hardly an easy one to score. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and defender Mark Wilson found themselves on different pages, and Begovic was left stranded when a cleared ball fell into the path of Dempsey. Dempsey slid in with his left foot and hit a first-touch lob from 30 yards out, converting what was a vital attempt during what proved to be another unfruitful pursuit of Champions League football for Spurs.
Top Clint Dempsey Tottenham Hotspur moments: City
It wasn't a brilliant hit, but it was the goal that changed the momentum of that match. Dempsey did well to remain onside before getting around Vincent Kompany and tapping a great Gareth Bale cross past goalkeeper Joe Hart. Tottenham would find the back of the net twice more in the following seven minutes, making for one of the top days at White Hart Lane in recent memory.
Top Clint Dempsey Tottenham Hotspur moments: Winter wonderlandUnited, notorious for finding goals during "Fergie Time," dropped two points on a snowy day at the Lane thanks to Dempsey. Left unmarked in front of goal, Dempsey tucked away a stoppage time goal that sent his manager leaping in celebration and fans in the stands into euphoria. Dempsey then ran into the crowd and hugged a group of adoring supporters, a crime that earned him maybe the best Tottenham yellow card of the campaign.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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