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Klinsmann: Dempsey strong start due to Fulham foundation
by Paul Kennedy, April 23rd, 2014 6:12PM

TAGS:  men's national team, mls


[USA MEN] MLS may be the place to be for U.S. World Cup hopefuls, but national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann is not about to dismiss how important it is to play in a top-level European league. He says he's thrilled how Clint Dempsey is playing for the Seattle Sounders -- five goals and two assists in the last three MLS games -- but he says it's all due to his decision to go to England on loan at Fulham.

"[I'm] very happy that Clint has picked up the rhythm and find his confidence and is part of almost every goal that Seattle scores," he said in a interview. "That’s really a good sign, it’s great for us going into the final weeks before we hit the preparation for the World Cup knowing that he’s building his confidence more and more and more. And it’s due to his hard work that he put in for January, February, being at Fulham. It was not a successful time, but he built a foundation for the months afterward so he seems to now at the right time, at the right spot."

Dempsey didn't score in five EPL games with Fulham but he has six goals in five games with the Sounders, including five in the three games since he served a two-game suspension for lashing out at Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom.

With just weekends left before he must submit his 30-player World Cup short list to FIFA, Klinsmann says avoiding injuries was the obvious concern for his players.

"You hope that everybody stays healthy," he added. "You always forgive a bad performance. Bad performances, everybody has those, everybody can have a bad day. But first and foremost you want them to stay healthy from now on because if a new injury now happens, you have pretty much no chance to recover any more before the World Cup."

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: April 23, 2014 at 9:36 p.m.
    "Dempsey didn't score in five EPL games with Fulham but he has six goals in five games with the Sounders..." Getting goals is always good "practice", you see yourself doing it, you feel yourself doing it, you build's great, indeed!
  1. Glenn Carter
    commented on: April 23, 2014 at 9:43 p.m.
    Klinsmann is being a douche. To say that Dempsey is scoring goals now, because he went to Fulham, is BS. I'm sure it helped, but it helped more to be with the Sounders at the start of the season and be able to work with the people he is working with. Klinsmann's European elitism needs to be checked and he needs to look at the whole picture!
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: April 24, 2014 at 9:02 a.m.
    I think what Klinsman was saying was that the time he spent with Fulham had him in top form when Seattle started their season. He has the advantage over the other players on the team of being game fit on day one. This as opposed to Dempsey after leaving Fulham, being idle for so long and then beginning to play for Seattle...he was rusty and you could see it. Didn't Donavan do the same when he spent part of the Galaxy's off season with Everton and then returned and played lights out?
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: April 24, 2014 at 1:21 p.m.
    Check back in the fall when the Sounders will want to be playing for the championship, and let's see if Dempsey is in top form or burned out from playing continuously from January on. Not saying he will, but there are no free lunches, and the human body needs R&R, particularly as an athlete ages.
  1. charles davenport
    commented on: April 24, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.
    ha ha ha. Everything Klinsmann says has a purpose; Probably right about European play, but also motivates MLS players, maybe one in particular (your guess as good as mine. I'm a fan, and optimistic for result in Brazil.

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