Dempsey gets 1st American EPL hat trick

London: Clint Dempsey became the first American to score a hat trick in the Premier League in Fulham`s 5-2 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Dempsey scored three goals in a 30-minute span in the second half.

"We never found our rhythm in the first half, but we began to get into their penalty area in the second half," Dempsey said. "Luckily, the ball kept going in. We never took our foot off the gas and we took our chances."

Dempsey scored his first goal to make it 2-1 for the Cottagers in the 59th.

Six minutes later, he slotted in a right-footed goal from 10 yards. Then he split two defenders, heading the ball down to himself, and two touches later scored in the 89th minute on a shot from 12 yards.

Behind 1-0 at halftime, Fulham tied it with a goal by Danny Murphy. Bobby Zamora extended the lead to 4-1.

Dempsey scored a career-best 15 goals this season, including nine in the Premier League. On Friday, Dempsey was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation`s male athlete for 2011.

Fulham signed Dempsey, who is from Nacogdoches, Texas, from the New England Revolution in January 2007.

Dempsey had scored his first hat trick in England on Jan. 7, against Charlton in the third round of the FA Cup.

"Clint Dempsey is our top scorer," Fulham manager Martin Jol said. "He is doing what he does best. Clint scores goals. You can only say he is a fantastic player."

He is tied for seventh in the league in scoring, trailing only Robin van Persie, Demba Ba, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Ayegbeni Yakubu and Edin Dzeko.

Bureau Report

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