Clint Dempsey is finding his rhythm.
The American striker scored the first hat trick of his Fulham career in a 4-0 win over Charlton in the third round of the Football Association Cup at Craven Cottage in London. He now has 12 goals this season — and seven in his last nine games.
Dempsey scored in the 8th and 61st minutes, then put a bow on his hat trick with a penalty kick in the 81st. Damien Duff scored in the 87th minute to cap the scoring.
Dempsey is the second American to record a hat trick in the FA Cup. In 2004, Chris Cleary scored thrice while playing for Worksop in an FA Cup match against Droylsden. John Kerr Jr., the current head coach at Duke, also scored three times while playing for Millwall in 1994 — but his performance was in a league match against Derby.
Dempsey wasn't the only American making an impact Saturday in FA Cup play. Landon Donovan, making his second appearance this season for Everton, assisted on Johnny Heitinga's goal in the 5th minute of the Toffees' 2-0 win over Tamworth. Donovan nearly scored in the 85th minute, but his shot pinged off the post.
In other action, goalkeeper Brad Guzan stopped a late penalty kick and led Aston Villa to a 3-1 over Bristol Rovers.