Clint Dempsey has been talking about the future of U.S. Soccer after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
With 157 caps to his name and appearances in three World Cups, we should all listen to what Deuce has to say.
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Dempsey, 34, is just one goal away from being the the U.S. national team’s all-time leading goalscorer out on his own ahead of Landon Donovan with both USMNT legends locked on 57 goals.
That suggests Dempsey may continue his U.S. career for a few more months despite the bitter disappointment of last month.
The Seattle Sounders star was part of the USMNT side which lost 2-1 at Trinidad & Tobago in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier in October which sealed their elimination from Russia 2018.
Dempsey spoke to the media ahead of Seattle’s Western Conference semifinal second leg on Thursday and Dempsey revealed that now is a good time to take a lot at where the U.S. go from here.
“It’s disappointing obviously for everybody,” Dempsey said. “But maybe it’s an opportunity now to look at youth development, to look at coaching, to look at style of play, and maybe it’s one of those situations [where] you take a step back to take two forward. People need to take a look at it.”
Dempsey is spot on.
The USMNT have to change things if they’re going to progress and get back to dominating the CONCACAF region and qualifying for World Cups.
There will be tough times ahead for everyone connected with U.S. Soccer but the hope is that the necessary changes can be made when it comes to youth development, coaching and to have a clear plan for the long-term future of USMNT and Major League Soccer.
As for Dempsey himself, it will be intriguing to see if he continues to play for the U.S. beyond this season.
The fact that he is just one goal away from becoming the all-time leading goalscorer out on his own may suggest he will hang on for a few more months before retiring as he tries to notch one more goal for the Stars and Stripes.
When he does finally hang up his boots, U.S. Soccer should get him involved in the program anyway they can to soak up his knowledge like a sponge.