The USA team tied with Portugal 2-2 last night in a heartbreaking effort. A win would have put the U.S. in the World Cup knockout stage. History could have been made, but it was all for naught when Portugal scored on a header in the 94th minute. Clint Dempsey, the team’s captain and starting striker, scored what could have been the game-winner in the 81st minute. His performance in the World Cup right now is inspiring. However, the one thing that inspires Dempsey is Jesus Christ.
Dempsey was born and raised in Texas where he played for one of the best youth soccer clubs in the state, the Dallas Texans. He played for Furman University and ended up getting drafted by the New England Revolution in the 2004 MLS Draft. From there, Dempsey has been a superstar soccer player. He is the second American player to score a goal in two different World Cups and the first to score in three World Cups. The 31-year-old has now scored 39 international goals in 107 appearances for the U.S. National team. The attacking midfielder has always credited his success on the field to the One who gave him his incredible talents.
“I play to the best of my abilities and am thankful for the many opportunities and amazing success God has given me,” Dempsey said. “Through it all, I want to do right, not make mistakes, and live a life that is pleasing to Him.”
Dempsey grew up as a Roman Catholic and knew about Christ through his grandmother. He also said that there have been times where God has tested his faith, including the loss of his 16-year-old sister.
“My parents had started me in the sport to help me learn good people skills,” said Dempsey to Sports Spectrum, “Little did I know that the sport I loved and the skills I learned would later play a role in my relationship with God. I grew up in a Catholic family and would go to church with my grandmother every Sunday. Through her, I learned that faith was important. When I was 12 years old, my life took a turn that would change me forever. My sister, Jennifer, died from a brain aneurysm and I was faced with questions about why things happen and what role God played in it all. For a number of years, I struggled and put distance between God and me. But He was faithful and patient and provided gradual healing and strength.”
When Dempsey attended Furman, he joined a Bible study and it was there where he gave his life to Christ.
“God’s Word brought me peace and a desire for a relationship with Him,” said Dempsey. “I found that questioning Him and searching for answers through Scripture helped me grow and gave me direction. Now my faith in Christ is what gives me confidence for the future. I know that through both good times and bad, He is faithful and will watch over me.”
Dempsey’s life has been a great testimony to what God has done for him. He has been blessed with the abilities of a superstar soccer player and now he will lead his team against Germany this Thursday. He is going to need a lot of prayer!