The US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has rejected suggestions that the team are likely to be without star striker Clint Dempsey for the first few matches the World Cup 2014. The former Fulham and Tottenham star was unavailable for selection in the friendly match against Azerbaijan. The United States won this match quite comfortably 2-0, but this was largely a fitness exercise for the team. The US will be coming into the tournament in much better shape after majority of their players play in the MLS.
The MLS season began only a few weeks ago while the European-based players will be coming on the back of long and hard season. Dempsey has been playing in MLS since January after joining Seattle Sounders. Even though the former Tottenham striker was included in the starting line-up, Dempsey had to be withdrawn with only 10 minutes before kick-off. Klinsmann has stated that this was nothing but a precaution and he said that the players should be available for the upcoming matches without any trouble.
The US are potentially facing the toughest group in the World Cup as they will be coming up against the likes of Germany, Ghana, and Portugal. Klinsmann says that it is extremely important that the team does well in the pretournament friendly matches.
“No it’s not serious at all. He had a little bit of pain yesterday already in training and he told me about it. And then in (the) warm-up, he was just a little bit nervous about it,” said the former Germany manager. “Yeah, I’ll be ready. (It’s) just tightness. I was just feeling it a little bit (on Monday) and it was still tight again today, so it didn’t make sense to push it in the game,” said the player himself on the official website of the MLS.