Donovan vs. Dempsey: US national team comparison

This Friday, Everton and Fulham will compete in the FA Cup. That means that two of the top American players, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, will line up across from each other. In the lead-up to the match, MLSsoccer.com compares the two players from several angles.

Let's be honest: For the past decade, Landon Donovan has been the undisputed star of the US national team. He’s suited up 134 times for his country, notched 46 goals and started in three World Cups.

Donovan   Dempsey
138 Caps 82
46 Goals 24
12 World Cup caps 6
5 World Cup goals 2
Oct. 25, 2000, vs. Mexico Debut  Nov. 17, 2004, vs. Jamaica
92nd-minute match winner vs. Algeria at 2010 World Cup Iconic moment Volleyed goal vs. Ghana at 2006 World Cup 
2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 US Soccer Player of the Year 2007, 2011

Regardless of the coach or the system or the opponent, he’s taken the field and – for the most part, at least – done what Landon Donovan does. That is, score goals, attack defenses and unflinchingly carry the mantle of being tagged the “best American player ever produced.” He is ruthless, at times unemotional and nearly always devastating.

But in 2005, along came this snarling, fearless kid from Nacogdoches who played with his heart — and his resentment — proudly displayed on his sleeve. He was like one of those huge storms that rolls across the flatlands of Texas, coming with sound and fury and everything in between.

In 2006, Clint Dempsey announced himself to the world with one of the most thunderous goals – not to mention, celebrations – ever scored by an American in the World Cup. His volley against Ghana gave the team hope of getting out of the group. The fact that it wasn’t to be is of little consequence: Dempsey had arrived.

Since then, he’s only upped his game. In total, he has 24 goals in 82 caps.

Now, as everyone knows, they are different players. And ever since Jurgen Klinsmann took over the USMNT, pundits and fans have drooled over the prospect of once again having them both on the field at the same time. (It’ll happen someday, right?) But here’s the question: If you could have only one in the US lineup, which one would you choose?

Get involved in the discussion on Twitter all week: #LDvsCD


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