KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- If you want to believe in the United States men's national team, spend some time listening to Clint Dempsey. The soft-spoken yet passionate U.S. star emits a confidence that oozes as thickly as a teenager's cologne. Forged during his well-documented rise from humble beginnings in Nacogdoches, Texas, this belief is well placed and contagious. After learning to master the game as a toddler kicking a basketball around a dirt field barefoot, he proceeded to net 17 Premier League goals last season. Each one stands as a testament to his talent, sacrifice and dedication.