Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
PORTLAND, Ore. — If Clint Dempsey has his way, he has not yet finished suiting up for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Fresh off a World Cup performance that saw him help lead the Americans to a Round of 16 finish n Brazil, Dempsey said Monday he has no plans on calling it quits on the international stage any time soon. The U.S. captain might be 31 years-old and considered by some as a long shot to make it to a fourth consecutive World Cup in 2018 in Russia, but he is hoping that he still has a future on Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.
At least until the Centennial Copa America being held in the United States in 2016, that is.
“I would like to continue playing for the U.S. team, but that depends on if you’re performing, if you’re getting called in,” said Dempsey during the MLS All-Star’s press conference. “For me, I would like to definitely push for playing in Copa America. It’s a tournament that I always valued and wanted to participate in, but never got the opportunity to.”
Having scored twice in Brazil, Dempsey still looks plenty capable of contributing to the Americans’ cause. Klinsmann, however, said shortly after the World Cup that he plans on using this fall’s friendlies to experiment with younger players who might be able to evolve into regular contributors in this coming World Cup cycle.
Dempsey, who has 109 caps and 39 goals to his name, does not yet know whether he will be brought back into the fray after those matches, but he sure wants to be.
“If I got the opportunity in two years’ time to play in Copa America, that would be awesome. But it’s not my decision whether I get called in or not. You have to be performing, Jurgen has to decided if I’m still part of his plans or not and you just take it from there.”
What do you think of Dempsey’s desire to continue playing for the USMNT? See him making it to the 2016 Copa America? Expect Klinsmann to rely heavily on Dempsey this cycle?
Share your thoughts below.