Clint Dempsey’s Strike: From Nac-Town with Love
June 13, 2010 2 Comments
Yesterday morning at the store, I ran into a friend of mine and he asked me what I thought the outcome would be of today’s England-US World Cup showdown. My response? A draw.
Can’t say that I called it because I didn’t predict a score. Even as my prediction rolled off my tongue, I thought about the feasibility of such an outcome and came to the conclusion that even a draw would be a victory for Team USA, given how loaded the English squad is.
While it would be best to leave the tactical analysis of the match to the experten, I cannot help but discuss Clint Dempsey’s equalizer.
Yes, English keeper Robert Green made the type of mistake which should never be made at the World Cup level or any level of soccer save Fun Fair Positive Soccer . However, not enough credit is being given to the Texan Clint Dempsey, the man who presented Green with the opportunity to embarrass himself, his family and his country before a captivated world audience.
Prior to firing the fateful shot, Dempsey had to break free, and he did so by juking English captain, Steven Gerrard, out of his expensive Adidas cleats. Here’s a shot from mid-juke, (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Judging by the display, one might have thought that Dempsey must have learned these skills from Hakeem Olajuwon who as we can see in Exhibit A below, just abused David Robinson back in the 1995 NBA playoffs.
But no, Dempsey honed these moves in his youth while playing in Nacogdoches’ Mexican League matches. As is reported here, Dempsey,
…beat men more than twice his age, proud men from Mexico and El Salvador who’d throw you to the East Texas dirt for trying a fancy move on them.
And according to one of his childhood friends, one time Dempsey
“did some kind of weird trick—it was so awesome—and the guy got mad and spit in his face.”
Due to the fact that us Mexicans think fútbol is our game and not the Americans’, I can certainly understand the ire of the men he schooled.
It’s hard to swallow when someone beats you at “your own game”, just ask British columnist and America’s Got Talent judge, Piers Morgan who penned this:
I honestly can’t believe we drew with the Americans. Soccer is a complete non-sport in the US. It ranks somewhere below tiddlywinks in their national competitive psyche.
Now, Dempsey might have picked up a huge assist from the wildly unpredictable Jabulani but it is certain that the glorified beach ball had nothing to do with his dissecting of Gerrard.
Major props to Dempsey and the rest of Team USA for their
win draw against a tough opponent. I do feel bad for Robert Green but I’d feel worse if he played for Colombia.