The two-month loan of Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey to his original English Premier League club, Fulham FC of London, was completed Monday. Fulham needs the help to avoid relegation, and Dempsey wants elite-level competition to prepare for the World Cup. He is scheduled for eight matches from Jan. 1 to the end of February.
The loan option was part of the agreement that brought Dempsey to the Sounders Aug. 3 from his second EPL club, Tottenham Hotspur, where he was transferred a year earlier. Fulham gave Dempsey a physical exam last week as the widely rumored loan neared completion.
Dempsey, 30, made 12 appearances and nine starts for the Sounders. But he had only one goal and one assist as his mid-season acquisition didn’t take. The Sounders won only one of their final 10 games and were eliminated in the playoffs’ first round by Portland.
Dempsey’s short MLS season was also disrupted by injuries as well as callups to the U.S. Men’s National Team for qualifying games. Dempsey is team captain although his place is not assured.
He spent six seasons (2007-12) with Fulham and scored 52 goals with 18 assists in 184 appearances, including a career-high 17 goals in the 2011-12 season. Dempsey holds the record for most goals (57) by an American in the EPL.