Landon Donovan is out. Clint Dempsey is in. The highest paid player in American soccer history is the new face of soccer in the USA.
If you went by the simple argument that since he is the highest-paid American soccer player ever he is the best ever Clint Dempsey wins hands-down. The former Fulham striker went to Tottenham on a $6 million deal and has proven himself in Europe already.
Contrast that to Landon Donovan who has chosen to spend the majority of his career in the United States playing in Major League Soccer and there is simply no argument on who the best American player ever is. Landon Donovan “has-been” the face of US soccer for quite some time but now it’s Clint’s time…and he has taken over.
Dempsey is the best field player the United States has ever produced he has proven that by becoming the highest-paid player the United States ever produced and he will continue to go on to be the most productive player United States has ever produced to succeed in the top European leagues.
I'm not knocking Landon Donovan for what he is failed to do since it was apparently never his goal to succeed in Europe over the long haul. He is happy doing what he's doing and make a ton of money doing it and you can’t knock him for that. However, you cannot say that he's proven himself on a consistent basis over multiple seasons at the highest levels.
Clint Dempsey has done that and will continue to so. It was good to see Clint Dempsey get onto the field for Tottenham Saturday against Reading. It was quite obvious that he was playing simple and safe with the game already in hand, but you can bet that when he is given a little more freedom gets a little more comfortable in AVB’s system that he will be just as effective for Tottenham as he was for Fulham over the last few seasons.
He is fearless, confident and has an edge that not many American soccer players have proven that they do have when faced with top-flight competition. Our younger players should emulate Clint Dempsey's attitude work rate and passion for the game.
Then, the USA will have a chance to win the World Cup one day.
Mark Vincent Lincir is the author of the best-selling book A SOCCER LIFE IN SHORTS. He writes daily at www.markvincentlincir.com. Follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/mvlincir
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