Dempsey moved to English Premier League side Fulham following the 2006 season for a then-MLS-record transfer fee. He spent five seasons making his name on the international soccer scene with the Cottagers, helping spark the club’s first-ever appearance in the Europa League final in May 2010 and becoming one of the most reliable goal scorers in the Premier League.
By December 2011 he was the most prolific American goal scorer in the Premier League – passing former Cottagers teammate Brian McBride – and he set Fulham’s single-season goal-scoring record five months later en route to finishing fourth in the voting for the FWA’s Footballer of the Year, honoring the best players in the Premier League.
With his intentions set on appearing in the UEFA Champions League, he leveraged his success at Fulham into a transfer and a contract with Tottenham in August 2012 that made him the highest-paid American player of all-time. He scored seven goals in 22 league appearances for Tottenham last season, but the club finished one-point short of the EPL’s fourth spot, and failed to qualify for Champions League.
A regular with the US national team since 2004, Dempsey is currently one game shy of his historic 100th cap, and he’ll likely earn that when the US return to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying play on Sept. 14 in Costa Rica. Dempsey has five goals and an assist in eight games with the USMNT this year, including two in a 4-3 win over Germany in June that kick-started the team’s current 11-match winning streak. His 35 international strikes rank second on the Americans' all-time scoring chart.
Dempsey is the third US national team member to return MLS during the current transfer window, joining longtime US captain Carlos Bocanegra (Chivas USA) and Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes).