MNT May 12, 2010
MNT midfielder Clint Dempsey and Fulham are set to contest the Europa League Final today against Atlético Madrid in Hamburg. Fulham have enjoyed a fantastic run throughout the cup and they are now one game away from lifting the trophy. You can watch the game live on DirectTV channel 461 from 2:45 p.m. ET (or follow along on our twitter feed where we will have live updates). We caught up with Dempsey ahead of tonight's massive game:
ussoccer.com: You have the chance to become the first U.S. player to compete in a European club final. How does that feel?
Clint Dempsey: “I don’t look at things like that. I look at it as another opportunity to play in big games. I’ve played in two MLS Cup finals, two Gold Cup finals, and a Confederations Cup final. This is a great one to add to the list. It is good to be a part of teams that get that far. They are special moments in your career.”
ussoccer.com: What does it say about this Fulham club that has persevered so much throughout the league campaign and Europa competition?
CD: The whole ride has been great, from beating the previous winners to coming back from a 4-1 deficit against Juventus and a 1-0 deficit to beat Hamburg. It shows the fight we have in this team. Even though we conceded home goals, we were still able to grind it out and get the result we needed to advance. It shows a lot of character and heart.”
ussoccer.com: The game-winner against Juventus was an absolute vision. Can you take us through that play?
CD: Yeah, I got subbed into the game. I had played at Juventus away and United away, so this was my first home game in almost eight weeks following the injury. I got a good touch, took another touch to make sure there was no one in way, and at that point I had two choices: either shoot near post hard or chip to the far post. I definitely know I was going to shoot. As a sub, you have to take risks, and I just got a gut feeling. I’ve been fortunate in my career to step up in big games. That’s when people need you the most. That’s something I’m proud of to say: that I’ve stepped on up big occasions.”