Editor’s Note: Last night in Seattle, Clint Dempsey led Team USA into the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario tournament, scoring a goal and making an assist in the US’s ugly-but-effective 2-1 win over Ecuador. This comes after Dempsey scored the game-winner against Paraguay and had a goal versus Costa Rica. His all-time goals tally is now 52, and he’s a mere five goals away from matching Landon Donovan’s record. With Dempsey red-hot and the USMNT charging hard toward silverware, we figured it was a good time to look back at our conversation with Deuce about his super-fast goal at the 2014 World Cup.
OK, so technically Clint Dempsey’s glorious goal against Ghana in this summer’s FIFA World Cup wasn’t a gamewinner.
But it did put the U.S. ahead in a game that it would eventually win, helping Team USA advance to the knockout stages out of the so-called Group of Death. And… it did happen within the first 32 seconds of the game, making it one of the fastest goals in World Cup history. Also, from the deft step-over to the clever cut inside to the sumptuous finish, it was one of the most visually stunning sequences of the tournament.
So when we spotted Deuce on the red carpet at the launch party for FIFA 15 last week, we just had to ask about the play that caused an entire nation to stand up and cheer literally seconds after the opening whistle.
“It was a situation where you just kind of freestyle. You see what they give you, and you try to figure out a way to get a good shot on goal.”
Was that the fastest goal you ever scored?
Yeah, that was the fastest goal I’ve scored, and I’m glad it was in the World Cup because it ended up being the fifth-fastest goal of all time. And I think it was the fastest goal scored by the U.S. team in a World Cup, so I’m happy to have been able to do that.
Was that something you guys thought you could do against Ghana? Did you talk about catching them napping early, or did it just happen?
You know how the game is. It’s free flowing, anything can happen. You go out to try to win the game and we were able to get the job done in that first game and get the three points.
Did you tell yourself anything before you shot it? Were you surprised that you had that opening that early?
It was a situation where you just kind of freestyle. You see what they give you, and you try to figure out a way to get a good shot on goal. And I was able to get some good touches and a good cut and able to get a good finish.
Is that the best goal of your life?
I don’t know about all that. The goal that stands out to me is the first goal I scored in a World Cup because as a kid that’s what I used to dream about.
You’re on the North American cover of FIFA 15. That must feel pretty good.
Yeah, it’s cool to be on the cover of this game. We’re excited about the launch. But also, later on I’m going to be performing with Trae Tha Truth and XO. We’re going to do a track from The Redux, and the proceeds from the album are going to go towards East Texas Food Bank, which is a charity that gives meals to underprivileged kids, so we’re excited about that.