Apparently, U.S. national team captain Clint Dempsey is not guaranteed a spot on 2014 World Cup roster, at least according to coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Klinsmann had the following to say Tuesday, via ESPN:
There is no guarantee for anyone. Clint threw himself into a shark tank coming back (to MLS) and the expectations are above the clouds; his own expectations are the highest, and therefore it is a huge process he is going through right now.
Dempsey, who had recently returned to Major League Soccer to play for the Seattle Sounders after seven season in the English Premier League, suffered a shoulder sprain in the Sounder’s 1-0 loss to Portland, and his status is unknown for Saturday’s match against FC Dallas.
Klinsmann said he understood the pressure Dempsey is under, per ESPN:
I am very positive. He is now getting challenged in a very different way than he would be getting challenged in the Premier League because … they have made him into the face of the league. He is not one of many in the Premier League and that is a very difficult task to deal with [because] they expect a goal every game, which is impossible because three guys jump on him.
It is easier for Eddie Johnson to score the goals because he gets the space — and we are happy for Eddie … but guarantees for a World Cup that is seven months away … no one has a guarantee.
The United States national team, which beat Jamaica 2-0 to seal first place in 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group last week, has qualified for its seventh consecutive World Cup.
Klinsmann said the squad is building up depth heading towards the World Cup.
“We will build other people around that with Clint Dempsey if we guide him one step after another towards that World Cup. He can be an impact player, and with Jozy [Altidore] we have another kind of player who builds that spine.”