June 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM
Clint Dempsey on Seattle’s soccer support: ‘I almost felt like I was in another country.’
Here are a few quick notes from the U.S. men’s national team, who held a press conference Monday afternoon and had practice toward the evening…
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— First off, former lower-leagues Sounder Herculez Gomez has been released from camp so he can recover from a lingering knee issue. DaMarcus Beasley said on Twitter that he had to get a root canal, but he was reportedly expected to be OK.
— Midfielder Jermaine Jones has also been ruled out with a concussion. “We don’t want to risk things even if he’s ready to go today,” said coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We’re just being cautious. We’re keeping him out of tomorrow night’s game and he will be definitely back for the game in Salt Lake City (June 18).”
— That along with the suspension of midfielder Graham Zusi could provide opportunities for depth players. You’ll recognize one of the options Klinsmann lists as potential replacement for Zusi out wide right: “We have several options. We can shift people around a little bit. We could bring Eddie Johnson right away on the right side if we wanted to. We could shift over Fabian Johnson to the right. We could put Brad Davis on the left and bring in Edgar Castillo like we did in Jamaica. … We have a pretty good idea of how we want to start tomorrow, which we won’t tell you right now.”
— So what does Clint Dempsey think about playing in Seattle? “I’m good friends with Eddie Johnson, and he always tells me what it’s like playing here — playing in front of the fans, just how it’s an atmosphere that’s comparable to what it is in Europe,” he said. “It’s great to see, because I remember when I first started out in MLS, things weren’t like that. So it’s great to see that the game is building and that there are markets like this where people have passion for the game. I almost felt like I was in another country the other day when the Seattle Sounders game was on — I was walking to get dinner, and just walking past a bar, the TV was on and everyone was watching soccer. So for me that was awesome. I’m happy to play here and I’m looking forward to the game and what that atmosphere will be like. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating three points.”
— Both Klinsmann and Dempsey didn’t have anything too negative to say about the temporary grass surface, but Michael Bradley did before practice. “Seattle certainly deserves a game,” Bradley told reporters, “but I think the field, unfortunately, leaves a lot to be desired.”
— Ticket sales remain at about 36,000, according to a federation spokesman.
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