U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann described the loss of captain Clint Dempsey for the USA’s upcoming friendlies as a “big bummer,” because the Seattle Sounders forward has struggled to regain his form and fitness since joining the MLS club over the summer.
“It’s a big bummer for us, really,” Klinsmann said after Dempsey limped out of training earlier this week with a calf injury. “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. He was really hungry for these two friendlies,” the German added. “Since coming back to the U.S., 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.”