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Clint Dempsey gets on the field for Spurs vs. Sunderland

Dec 29, 2012, 9:39 AM EDT

Clint Dempsey

U.S. international Clint Dempsey passed a pre-game fitness test at the Stadium of Light and got into Saturday’s match late during Tottenham’s important 2-1 road win at Sunderland.

Dempsey has been battling a groin strain, so his participation at any level was in doubt.

Rather than start, the Texas native entered in the 76th minute for Jermain Defoe, contributing a couple of clever passes as Tottenham saw out the win.

The options for Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas underscore how much of a depth advantage the bigger clubs have.

His choices each time out include Dempsey, Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, plus (depending on how the manager wants to arrange his attack) the likes of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale. Those are all quality Premier League players. Sunderland’s depth consists mostly of men only the best Premiership fans have heard of.

Where it really pays is right now, during the busy-busy-go-go holiday season; Spurs are right back on the field Tuesday, at home against Reading.

Dempsey will almost surely be involved in that one (assuming he comes through Saturday with no addition injury stress), probably once again at Bale’s position along the left. Bale collected a yellow card Saturday for simulation and will miss Spurs’ next match for caution accumulation.

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