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Clint Dempsey strikes again, passes McBride

Fulham's Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal during the

Fulham's Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage in London. (Dec. 5, 2011) Credit: AP

If you're not already convinced that Clint Dempsey is steadily becoming the greatest American player of all time -- he added another line to his CV Monday.

Dempsey's 85th-minute goal in Fulham's 1-0 victory over Liverpool was the 37th goal he has tallied in his English Premier League career -- one more than former American striker Brian McBride. No other American player has come close to matching the goal-scoring success of Dempsey and McBride in the EPL. The next Yank on the list is Roy Wegerle, who scored 13 goals for Blackburn and Coventry City in the 90s.

A quick stroll around the Internet and you'll notice many soccer fans are using Dempsey's latest goal as a springboard to the always-entertaining, "Who's better: Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan?" debate. It's certainly a fun one.

Do you favor Donovan's 46 international goals (including five in the World Cup) and surefire Hall of Fame MLS career? Or, do you prefer Dempsey's outstanding club success overseas? Certainly, what Dempsey has done in arguably the best league in the world has been unchartered territory for the American player in London.

After Donovan carried the goal-scoring load at the 2010 World Cup, he seemed to disappear at times in 2011 and only scored once. Dempsey, meanwhile, reasserted himself as the top player on the field and scored five times.

Donovan stole the spotlight back a few weeks ago when he led the Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS title and scored a pretty game-winner in the championship. Back and forth they go.

In terms of awards, Donovan's longevity has enabled him to rake in several over the years. The Honda Player of the Year award, renamed "Futbol de Primera" this year and handed out by the media, was given to Dempsey. He previously won the award in 2006. Donovan has won the award seven times (2002-04; 2007-10). The Chevrolet U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year handed out by the U.S. Soccer Federation also picked Dempsey in 2011. He previously won the award in 2007. Donovan won the award in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Donovan is 29. Dempsey is 28. Where they sit on the bell curves of their careers is another interesting debate. I'm sure head coach Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't care who the fans prefer. He's just hoping both are still at the top of their games for as long as humanly possible.

New York Sports