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Johnson is back at the top of his game following a rough patch, and Dempsey was quick to hail the revitalization of his friend's career.

After Eddie Johnson's two-goal performance against Antigua & Barbuda on Friday, Tottenham Hotspur star Clint Dempsey paid tribute to his friend and national team colleague.

Johnson was nearly out of soccer less than a year ago. After his contract with English Premier League club Fulham was not renewed, he failed to secure a contract with Mexican side Pachuca. Only a move to MLS, and a stellar season with the Seattle Sounders, which has seen him net 14 goals in 26 games, revitalized his career.

"It's great for him," said Dempsey, who also played alongside Johnson at Fulham. "You know he's had a tough time in Europe, but he kept working hard, and showed that he has quality.

"He got goals in MLS and he got two big goals for us tonight. I'm proud of him, you know what I mean? As a teammate, but also as a friend."

Alex Labidou contributed reporting from St. John's, Antigua


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