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A quality starting debut for Clint Dempsey at Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur Training

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Clint Dempsey during a Tottenham training session ahead of their Europa League match with Lazio on September 19, 2012 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

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It came about a month after most us would have liked, but U.S. attacker Clint Dempsey got his first starting minutes Thursday for Tottenham, appearing in Spurs’ s first 11 in Europa League group play against Lazio.

His match in a word: solid.

Dempsey played 76 minutes as withdrawn forward, behind Jermain Defoe, free to drop into midfield and roam a little to link play. And link he did, helping to bring others into the sequences as Spurs had far more of the possession at White Hart Lane.

Unfortunately for Tottenham, a 0-0 draw in a match the home team surely needed to win will surely add further discontent in a season already stocked with plenty of it.

Dempsey will surely want to add greater imprint to future nights around White Hart Lane, but considering his tardiness in getting started, Thursday was a worthy starting point.

As former U.S. international Brian McBride noted in his Fox Soccer Channel post-game analysis: “All in all, a good performance by Clint, but Lazio had it figured out today.”

Spurs’ bad luck didn’t help anything Wednesday. Two goals were disallowed that quite possibly should not have been; one was a quality header from Dempsey where he was ruled offside. It was awfully close, and the referee’s assistant can’t be heavily faulted for getting this one wrong – but it appeared that he just that.

Here’s the goal (courtesy of a very low-quality clip).