Ahead of the upcoming friendlies in Europe, the USMNT has a bit of a different look on the roster thanks to the combination of MLS playoffs and injuries.
It’s the latter that coach Jurgen Klinsmann is a bit upset about.
Speaking specifically on the loss of Clint Dempsey to a calf injury, the German noted how big the loss of a leader is physically and emotionally even if the match is just a friendly.
“It’s a big bummer for us, really,” Klinsmann said. “He’s our captain, and he’s a leader in our group. What he’s done for us over the past couple of years for us is priceless and seeing him limping off the field the other morning was a real shock to us.”
Klinsmann said it’s unfortunate that he will miss out since he was excited to get back to national team action.
“He was really hungry for these two friendlies,” said the US manager. “Since coming back to the US, he’s struggled a little bit because of injury and I think it was a little overwhelming first few months for him because of the pressure. He had just started to settle and get back into a good rhythm, looking physically good this week, and then this happens. He’ll get a couple of weeks of rest and then he’ll come back. It’s a big blow.”
It’s another setback in a tough year for Dempsey, who failed to make the usual starting lineup at Tottenham Hotspur before being sold to the Seattle Sounders where the end of the season went from bad to worse.
Hopefully for the USMNT captain, this rough spell won’t get him down because Klinsmann is right – if Clint struggles next year, so too will the national team.