U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann offered his first comments on Clint Dempsey‘s move to Sounders FC and MLS during an interview with USsoccer.com.
Here is what he told the federation website, as posted Monday:
“It’s been a huge week. Having Clint back in the United States and joining MLS is big and I think everyone in the U.S. is excited about the news. I am thrilled for MLS because you have an outstanding player now hopefully filling more stadiums and getting even more kids and people excited about the game. For Clint it’s a challenge, coming from one of the top leagues in the world, coming back to the U.S. and being back in MLS where we still have to work on a lot of things. Clint himself has set the highest benchmark for himself over the last year. He became our captain and he has to keep that benchmark and he knows that. I told him that over the last two years that he’s got to go for the next level. Obviously we want the best Clint Dempsey ever and that’s what we’re going to push him toward as we begin to look toward Brazil. He has set a high standard for himself, and it’s up to us coaches to make sure he keeps that high standard.”
Klinsmann was also asked about the makeup of the roster, particularly there being only two MLS players, both of which happen to be Sounders in Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans. Dempsey was left off the squad, which was also explained by the USMNT coach:
“For the most part we wanted to leave the MLS players behind because it’s a long way to go for a mid-week game in the heart of the season and many of them were with us a lot during the summer,” Klinsmann said. “This gives us a chance to look at some different players as well. At the same time, we still want a strong team so we have some guys from MLS and also from Liga MX. I told (Sounders head coach) Sigi Schmid that it’s no problem to leave Clint off this roster. It’s been a long week for Clint and he is still in preseason and getting a rhythm, so we leave him in Seattle and get him ready for the games in September.”
Yeah, it does seem like a long way to go, especially for a couple guys who were involved all summer. What do you think about what Klinsmann has said?
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