In an interview with the Seattle Times, Sounders striker Clint Dempsey reflected that 2014 was a positive year for soccer in the U.S. -- even though the national team finished the year with a pair of losses. According to Dempsey, who was not called up for the USA’s final two internationals of the year, a positive Round of 16 finish in the World Cup in Brazil trumped all other results.
“I think 2014 was a good year for soccer in the U.S., because when a major competition is coming up, you want to step up and perform well and put the country behind you,” the former Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur forward said.
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann called some young players into the senior squad for the 2-1 loss to Colombia in London last Friday and the 4-1 defeat to Ireland in Dublin on Tuesday. Dempsey added that it is important for Klinsmann to blood younger players early, especially with the 2015 Gold Cup on the horizon, and the 2016 Copa America in the U.S. the following year.
“That’s what it’s about: It’s about the future, planning for not only the next World Cup, but the one after that,” Dempsey said. “It’s a process where you have to get guys confidence and get guys experience, and the only way they’re going to do that is getting games.”