KINGSTON, Jamaica – As far as soccer memes go, the US national team may be hard-pressed to recall a better one in their history than the “Deuce Face,” the bizarrely scrunched facial contortions that Clint Dempsey produced in a brief scuffle with several Reggae Boyz during the Yanks' important 1-0 win over Jamaica in Columbus, Ohio, last September.
Patently absurd yet oddly inspiring to US fans who already adored their star striker, the Deuce Face spread like wildfire across various social media platforms and soon, supporters were brandishing enormous blowup cutouts of the image at US matches.
Speaking to the media at the USMNT's team hotel on Thursday ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifying rematch against the Reggae Boyz (9:30 pm ET; beIN Sport, Live Chat on MLSsoccer.com), Dempsey cracked a smile as he recounted the circumstances that prompted his iconic mean-mugging.
“It's just funny. You can't really take yourself too seriously and in games; there's things that happen that your personality comes out,” the Tottenham striker said with a grin. “I don't remember what [Jamaica] player it was, it was just a foul and people were talking trash just about the situation. And it was me just clowning.”
Dempsey took the topic as an opportunity to sing the praises of the Yanks fans who turn out to support the national team, as well as those in front of the television at home, a role he once played himself.
“If fans enjoy it, well then great, because they're the ones that support us and they're the ones who push us in home games and those are the ones that are at home watching you and wishing you well,” he said. “I was a fan myself growing up and I know what it's like to be watching the game from the TV and willing your team on and wanting them to do well.
“So anytime that the fans are able to relate with you or have some type of connection with you, it's always a good thing. But it's something I think is funny, and I like seeing it when I go to games, because it makes me laugh.”
He said he doesn't have one of his own at home, but recalled his joyous celebrations with one of the outsized “Deuce Faces” floating around Sporting Park (right) after the US booked their Hexagonal spot with a win over Guatemala in October.
“I remember after we had the game against Guatemala, one of the fans grabbed it and I was doing some dancing back and forth with it,” said the Yanks captain. “It just shows that we have a sense of humor as a country and our fans have a good sense of humor.”