After reading Albert Nguyen's latest article (What’s Poppin' – Hip Hop and Basketball) and being enlightened by a friend about Clint Dempsey’s alter ego, “Deuce,” I had to share.
Clint Dempsey is the most dynamic player in US soccer today and arguably in history, yet even though he was the MLS rookie of the year in 2004, Clint struggled to support his family in Nacogdoches, Texas. MLS salaries were much lower back then than they are now; even today’s salaries are far behind that of the four major sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL). In 2006, minimum wage was a mere $11,700, and the top draft pick that year received a yearly paycheck of $30,000. As Clint would describe it, “he had to hustle.” Nike was willing to endorse him in 2006 right before the 2006 World Cup which opened the door for Dempsey to become “Deuce” in the rap single “Don’t Tread.” Clint has gone on the record saying that he would most likely never go back to rapping since he has found consistent success in the English Premiership, but I am glad he left us with this gem before he made his transfer to England.
Clint was one of the first MLS success stories as a club from Europe paid a high transfer fee of $4 million dollars to acquire his rights. But before all the success in England, there was his childhood deep in the heart of Texas. As the story goes, his father drove him 3 hours to Dallas for practice multiple times a week just so he could play at a higher level. Eventually his parents could not afford to pay for both his soccer interest and his older sister’s promising tennis career. Clint was forced to quit his youth team in Dallas when he was twelve, shortly after his sister died from an unexpected brain aneurism. The passing of his sister gave him the chance to rededicate himself to soccer and return to his team. To this day, the tragedy fuels him to leave it all on the field. Clint has relied on his family and faith in God to carry him through the death of his beloved sister, and he looks to the sky after every goal to honor her.
Dempsey continues to put US soccer on the map, and in this current season, he became the first US born player to score a hat trick (3 goals) in an EPL match for his Fulham team. Not only is this a milestone feat in and of itself, but he accomplished this against Newcastle, which is known for its tough defense. Clint is already the first American to score in back-to-back world cups and is poised to make another run in 2014.
In addition, Dempsey led the Americans to a victory over Italy for the first time in our country’s history by scoring the lone goal. He also scored one of the goals against Spain to make the US the only team to beat Spain in the knockout stage of an international tournament in the last four years. Clint is rumored to be bought out during this summer's transfer window by one of EPL’s elite teams, so take the mic, Deuce -- all the world is your stage.
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