Clinton Drew Dempsey (/ˈdɛmpsi/; born March 9, 1983) is an American retired professional soccer player who played as a forward. During his career, he played in the Premier League for Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur and in Major League Soccer for New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC. ESPN, FOX Sports, and NBC Sports have each ranked Dempsey as the greatest men's American soccer player in history.
A native of Nacogdoches, Texas, Dempsey spent his youth career with the Dallas Texans before joining Furman University's men's soccer team in 2001. In 2004, Dempsey was drafted by the New England Revolution, where he scored 25 goals in 71 appearances. Between 2007 and 2012, Dempsey played for Fulham in the Premier League, eventually becoming the club's leading Premier League goalscorer. Dempsey also became the first American player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League during a 5–2 win against Newcastle United in 2012. On August 31, 2012, Tottenham signed Dempsey for a fee of $9.6 million, then a record signing for an American. Dempsey scored 12 goals in one season with Tottenham, giving him 72 goals across all competitions for Premier League clubs—the most by an American in a top-tier European league. He was signed by the Seattle Sounders the following year and played 115 matches for the club, scoring 47 goals, and leading the club to win the 2014 Supporters' Shield. During the 2016 season, Dempsey was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and missed the team's run to the MLS Cup. Dempsey returned the following season and announced his retirement from professional soccer on August 29, 2018.