US players happy feel badly for Green

IRENE, South Africa (AP) — Clint Dempsey feels badly that England goalkeeper Robert Green is being harshly criticized for allowing his goal in the United States' 1-1 tie with England.

"It's tough man," Dempsey said Tuesday. "I mean, you're under such a microscope. And it's easy for people on the outside to really go after someone. Only like people who've been in those situations, been in those tough games really know what that's like. So that's part of what comes with the territory. So you've just to pick yourself up and keep on going."

U.S. goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, while elated Dempsey scored Saturday, had mixed feelings. Hahnemann, the starter for Wolverhampton, anticipated the reaction for Green, who plays for West Ham.

"First, you're like, 'Yes!' And then afterwards, you're like, 'Oh no!' I wish he could have just hit it in the top corner. I know Robert Green really well," Hahnemann said.

"You know what he's going to be going through back in England," Hahnemann added. "They are pretty ruthless over there. So I knew he was going to take all the heat for it, no matter what. But that's the life of a goalkeeper. He made a great save on Jozy (Altidore), and no one ever talks about that. And that's the way it is for us. There's no second chances really. Forwards, they miss 12 shots in a game and one goes in, and they're the man of the match, hero of the game. Sometimes you could look at it and say it's not quite fair for us."

Dempsey, who also had a World Cup goal against Ghana four years ago, joined Brian McBride as the only Americans to score in two World Cups. He compared the shot, which took two hops before bouncing in through Green's arms, to another sport.

"It's like when you're bowling. You're like leaning over, seeing, hoping that it will go for you," he said.

He didn't want to react prematurely.

"I've celebrated before, when I've scored I've been offsides," he said. "and you look like an idiot."

When he was sure it was a goal, he reacted with a specific celebration.

"I look up to the sky. Thank God, you know, look up to my sister," he said.

His older sister, Jennifer, died of a brain aneurysm when he was 10.

Then he put up a '1' and a '3' for Victor Rivera Jr., a high school teammate in Texas who was shot and killed.

"Showing love to him," Dempsey said. "I'm close with his family."

Dempsey says he takes shots even if it would seem they have little chance of going in.

"I'm someone that always buys a lottery ticket," he said. "I always take a shot because if you don't shoot, you don't score."