Know Your Spurs: Jermain Defoe
One of the top goal scorers in the history of the Premier League, Jermain Defoe is expected to lead the line for Tottenham Hotspur when they take on the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on July 24 in their first-ever friendly here in Southern California.
After beginning his career as a youth player at West Ham, Defoe burst onto the scene in the 2000-01 campaign with a highly successful loan spell at Bournemouth. He continued that form for West Ham, finishing as their top scorer the following year. He reached double figures again in the 2002-03 season, but he could not prevent West Ham from being relegated.
Tottenham keeper Friedel on LA
He stayed with the Hammers through the first half of the following season, tallying 11 goals in 19 games during their first season in the Championship. He eventually signed with Tottenham midway through the 2003-04 Premier League season and averaged nearly a goal every two games for the club over the second half of the year. He would continue to be one of the top scorers in the Premier League, reaching double figures for goals during the 2004-05 campaign when he scored a then-personal-best of 22 goals, and in the 2006-07 season when he scored 18 times in all competitions.
He joined Portsmouth in January 2008 and scored 17 goals for the club before returning to White Hart Lane a year later. His first season back with Spurs proved to be his best-ever with the club, tallying 18 times in the league and 24 in all competitions while helping his club qualify for the Champions League for the first time ever.
So far this season, Defoe has tallied 16 goals in all competitions for Spurs, including 10 in the Premier League, making him their second leading scorer behind Emmanuel Adebayor.
In addition to his success in club football, Defoe is also dangerous for England, collecting 46 caps and tallying 15 goals for his country. He made his full international debut in 2004 at the age of 21 and scored his first goal six months later in a World Cup Qualifier against Poland. A member of England’s team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he scored in a 1-0 win over Slovenia that gave England a berth in the Round of 16.
Defoe, who scored his first-ever hat trick for his country in their first game of Euro 2012 Qualifying against Bulgaria in September 2010, is battling to be included in their squad for this summer’s tournament in Poland and the Ukraine. Only four current England players have scored more times for their country than Defoe, though he has not scored since his hat trick against Bulgaria, which was the first hat trick for an England player at the new Wembley.
Tickets for LA Galaxy vs Tottenham Hotspur on sale to the general public on Thursday, May 3. For more ticketing and match info, visit www.lagalaxy.com/tottenham.