It's been the most successful year of Clint Dempsey's professional career, as the American forward has scored 16 goals in all competitions this year for Fulham, and scored the game winner last week in a 1-0 decision against Italy.
It's a hot streak unlike anything any American soccer player has ever experienced, which begs the question: Will that hot streak continue into the London Olympics? The tournament is largely considered of relatively low importance in relation to tournaments like the World Cup and the Gold Cup, but it's unquestionably a unique experience.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl before the Italy game, Dempsey addressed the possibility of suiting up in a quest for gold, on that would give the US a massive boost.
SI.com: Do you have any interest in playing for the Olympic team this summer if they qualify?
Dempsey: If they qualify it would have to be something to look at. I've never played in an Olympics. If the opportunity comes up I'd have to sit down and think about it and see first, if they qualify, second, if they'd want me to be part of it, and three, if it was able to work out with my club team. You have to wait and see, but the Olympics is something special.
While Olympic squads are aren't always comprised of a nation's first team, the Olympic tournament has featured some of the best players in the world before, like Argentina's Lionel Messi. Argentina won the gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing thanks to a stacked squad of what are now some of the world's biggest stars. So it's not far fetched at all for someone like Dempsey to decide to join in the fun.
If he did, it would certainly make the tournament more exciting for American fans, and give the team a boost with one of the world's top scorers at the present moment. The US was eliminated in group play with a 1-1-1 record in 2008, beating Japan, drawing the Netherlands and losing to Nigeria, which went on to take the silver medal. The lead scorer in that tournament was New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi, who now plays for Italy. So it wouldn't be the first time an American has made a major impact if Dempsey goes off. Sacha Kljestan was the leading U.S. scorer with two goals in the 2008 tournament.
Max Thompson is the Senior Editor at ThePostGame. Follow him on Twitter: @maxthompson.
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