LONDON – Clint Dempsey became the first American to score a hat trick in England's Premier League, helping Fulham rally from a halftime deficit to rout Newcastle 5-2 Saturday.
Dempsey put Fulham ahead 2-1 in the 59th minute with his 50th goal for the Cottagers, bundling in from 3 yards after Bobby Zamora's shot rebounded off goalkeeper Tim Krul.
He got his second in the 65th, slotting in a right-footed from 10 yards from Zamora's pass on a counterattack. Dempsey completed the scoring from Zamora's looping through pass in the 89th, splitting two defenders, heading the ball down to himself and taking two touches before a right-footed shot from 12 yards.
''We never found our rhythm in the first half but we began to get into their penalty area in the second half,'' Dempsey said. ''Luckily the ball kept going in. We never took our foot off the gas and we took our chances.''
Dempsey, a 28-year-old from Nacogdoches, Texas, has a career-best 15 goals this season, including nine in the Premier League. He had scored his first hat trick in England on Jan. 7 against Charlton in the third round of the FA Cup.
Fulham acquired him from Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in January 2007. On Friday, he was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation's male athlete for 2011, the second time he won the honor.
''Clint Dempsey is our top scorer,'' Fulham manager Martin Jol said. ''He is doing what he does best. Clint scores goals.''
Danny Murphy and Zamora converted penalty kicks for Fulham. Danny Guthrie put Newcastle ahead in the first half, and Hatem Ben Arfa cut the deficit to 4-2 in the 85th.