British soccer star is a Texan who looks to Heaven after each goal he scores

Clint Dempsey is one of two Americans ever to score in two World Cups. He's the only American to score an English Premier League hat trick. And he has a quiet ritual of a brother's eternal love.

BY: Rob Kerby

 

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he placed in a vase at Jennifer’s grave.

An autographed photo of Dempsey gazing heavenward

Today, he is a member of the U.S. National Soccer Team – yes, the squad that represents America in the Olympics. England still has trouble forgiving him for scoring against them in the 2010 World Cup. In America’s Major League Soccer, he made quite an impact with that hunger to score that he’s never lost – and his wild enthusiasm. After one famous goal, he jumped into the stands to plant a kiss on his mother’s cheek.

“After everything we had been through together,” he says with a smile, “we shared that moment.”

After all, she did her best to make every game possible when he played on a full scholarship at Furman University. However, finances made it tough. In college, two of his teammates, Greg Griffin and Chefik Simo, asked him one day if he wanted to go with them to a concert.

“They were friends of mine and I wanted to go but I was like, ‘I haven’t even got 10 bucks to spend.’ And being broke saved my life. They got in a car crash, they flipped over and an 18-wheeler hit them. Greg died. Chefik was injured so bad he couldn’t play again.”

Dempsey broke records at Furman, then went on to play three seasons with MLS’s New England Revolution, where he bagged 25 goals, a

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