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Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Dempsey gets British work permit, joining Fulham

LONDON -- United States midfielder Clint Dempsey will join Premier League club team Fulham after receiving his British work permit on Wednesday.

The British Government's Home Office confirmed that he received his work permit and will become the third American to join the west London club.

The agreement could be worth as much as $4 million, which would make Dempsey the 13th American currently in England's top league and the costliest. The previous record of $3 million, including incentives, involved Major League Soccer selling goalkeeper Tim Howard's rights to Manchester United.

Dempsey, the 2004 MLS rookie of the year, will join fellow U.S. internationals Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride at 12th-place Fulham. Bocanegra and McBride arrived at Craven Cottage in January 2004.

Dempsey scored the only goal by an American at last year's World Cup and was voted U.S. player of the year. He scored 25 goals in 71 games in his three seasons with the Revolution.

The Home Office panel approved the permit despite Dempsey having played in less than 75 percent of his national team's recent games. The 23-year-old played in nine of the United States' 13 matches last year, scoring six goals in 23 games.

The New England Revolution agreed to Dempsey's transfer on Jan. 2 pending the approval of a British work permit.

"We're pleased this opportunity worked out for Clint. We wish him nothing but the best," Revolution manager Steve Nicol said. "He has been a tremendous player for us. It's a great credit to him and the level of play in MLS that Fulham pushed so hard to get him."

Fulham was also in talks with U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is reportedly close to making a $1.96 million move from Belgian side Standard Liege.




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