Clint Dempsey continues to break molds instead of conforming to them.
Dempsey helped Tottenham Hotspur make history Saturday with a 52nd-minute goal at Manchester United that proved to be the game winner in a 3-2 victory -- the first for Spurs on the road over United since 1989.
It was also Dempsey's first goal since his high-profile, $9.5 million transfer from Fulham at the end of the summer. It was a move that was never assured despite Dempsey's 23-goal season in 2011-12, the best European season ever by an American. A player who is known for not having a true position -- Dempsey is not really a forward, not really a midfielder -- nearly didn't have a team before his move was secured just before the transfer deadline.
Instead of backing down, Dempsey made himself the highest-paid U.S. player ever. He also moved to a team that has a tradition of wilting when it's on the brink of breaking into the English Premier League's elite top tier. With the win at Old Trafford, that legacy could be due for a rewrite, too.
- Craig Stouffer