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If the U.S. national team is planning on getting a result against Honduras on Saturday night, they will have to do so without Clint Dempsey. The Fulham midfielder left Sunday's 2-2 draw against West Ham in the 83rd minute with a shoulder injury.
Today U.S. Soccer announced that Dempsey is out for Saturday's crucial match in San Pedro Sula with a sprained shoulder. While his performance in a U.S. jersey has been questioned after the last round of qualifiers, there is no question that his creativity will be missed. It is too early to know if he will also miss the team's final qualifier, against Costa Rica on October 14 at RFK Stadium.
With Dempsey out, U.S. coach Bob Bradley could turn to Stuart Holden, who has performed well in appearances earlier in the year. Benny Feilhaber has also been used on the right flank, while Jose Francisco Torres could also be an option in the lineup, with Landon Donovan capable of shifting to the right flank.
Who do you think should start in Dempsey's place? Think the U.S. team can win in Honduras without Dempsey? Looking forward to seeing someone new on the right wing?
Share your thoughts below.
It says something about Dempsey’s international form when I’m not bothered by him missing a crucial game. He is just a body out there, lacking flair or drive. Without an overlapping fullback to allow him to cut inside he sucks.
I see whoever replaces him Saturday as the one who takes his job full-time. He doesn’t deserve to start. This was fate… I hope he gets better, but it was time he sits.
is there any chance of a last minute bailout regarding TV, or is that a done deal?
No chance. A foreign company owns the rights. It won’t be on television.
is there any chance of a last minute bailout regarding TV, or is that a done deal?
I think it’s impossible for dempsey to have a worse performance than he had the last WCQ. The problem is what someone stated earlier and that is the respect he has for the team around him. If you think about it, it doesn’t exist and contributes to him playing like he has swine flu.
Dempsey is a senior player on this team, no one tells him what to do and even if he has a bad performance, hes still Dempsey – one of the best players on this team by far.
On Fulham, the players around him would murder him if he played like he did in our last WCQ.
The point is this. Everyone who bashes Dempsey are most likely huge fans of his as I am. It’s just he has a higher standard to live up to than other players because of his proven ability. When you see someone not playing 30% of their game it hurts to watch… it stings and is frustrating.
Even when Dempsey is at his worst, he’s still a little better than Benny,Torres and Holden at their average..not their best, because I’ve seen both and their best is very quality. But his best against their best is no contest. And that’s what we need day in and day out from Dempsey, his best. Hes 26 running like hes 46 sometimes, well I guess it really wasnt running.
I used to criticize Dempsey as well, and I always felt that if Bob decided to bench him he might just “Say well f**k you all, I’m retiring internationally”. But after seeing his performance in the Confederations Cup and his emotions after the Brazil game, it really changed my opinion on him and how much he cares about this team.
Does he make stupid errors and turnovers sometimes? Yes, but to blame him for everything like it seems a lot of you in the blogosphere like to do, is ridiculous. Spector hasn’t played that great since the Confederations Cup (or Dolo against Mexico), so his play could be affecting Dempsey as well. And our center midfield has been absolute garbage as well recently (defensively and distribution of the ball). I don’t understand why Dempsey always seems to be the scapegoat. Maybe it’s because people expect a lot of him, but it’s not like he’s had any Bornstein-like, Sacha-esque or Beasley-an performances.
Best of luck to whoever among Torres, Holden, and Feilhaber gets the start (3 guys who I genuinely like), but I think we’ll definitely miss him against Honduras and against Costa Rica if he doesn’t play then either. LD gets all the credit for setting up Rico’s goal at T&T, but who found the open space, and passed it to Donovan? Clint Dempsey. Lay off him people.
too bad.. like him or not dempsey is a goal scorer and one of the best overall players on our team.
looking at the potential replacements; Holden, Torres and Rogers, Rogers does not have the experience and Holden is better on the wing than Torres, but those two could be interchanged easily.
Most likely we are bring in a passer and set up player like Torres or Holden, or potentially Benny or Rogers.. this could mean more forward play from Landon; something that could be great!
I’m glad Damarcus will get the chance to contribute again, but I don’t see him starting unless he really kicks butt in practice. Either way, his experience can only help… can’t be breaking in newbies right now am I right Ives? I’ll take my answer off the air
Better This Way, go put a sock in it. Everybody knows Holden is hungry and wants this opportunity.
The suggestions that we should move DOnovan back to the right when he has been thriving on the Nats left and play Torres is borderline silly. You have an injury at one position and you have the guy who has subbed into that position and done well. Why would you then weaken two positions to bring in Torres? Yes – two positions. Donovan has found a comfort level on the left and expecting him to adjust back automatically for a crucial qualifier in Central America…I don’t know what to say. Then bring in Torres who does not work as hard in defense as DOnovan and therefore will not cover our left backs as well? I mean, people, you realize that changes are interconnected, right? Is this the time to start screwing around with guys roles?
You put in Holden and you carry on. It is NOT Clint bashing to suggest that you will get less finishing but better service and work rate with the switch.
Andrew in Tampa – Conceited? C’mon, he wept after the Brazil match. Talk about things you can see like careless (which I agree) not things you can’t like heart.
Let’s face it. The Dempsey we see for the Nats isn’t the same eager kid with long hair who came on at the end of qualifying four years ago. The new Dempsey is conceited, overconfident and careless with the ball. I am a fan of the Dempsey I see playing in the EPL. The player on the USMNT is the most frustrating talent on the team. I hope he gets well soon and can play in the Costa Rica game. But I am also delighted that someone else gets a chance to show what they can do wearing the shirt.
H O L D E N
he’s been a spark plug coming in late, and i cant wait to see how he does with a start.
Jeff M in Houston — Good analysis of BB’s tactics on the wings.
What is the point of playing two holding midfielders while also demanding two-way wingers in a 4-4-2?
No wonder he’s nicknamed “Bunker Bob”. Bah.
Seems pretty cut and dry. Bob has been working Holden in regularly, and he plays the same position Dempsey does most of the time.
I actually think Holden looks FAR better in that role than Dempsey, but that could be because Holden always comes in as a sub.
I also hope we see JFT get some time in the middle. Let Mikey hold back and tell JFT to link up with the forwards and attacking MFs.
This could be a blessing in disguise though. Holden could emerge in that role and allow Dempsey to be used in other areas where he plays more inspired.
Gabe for post of the day.
The biggest difference between Fulham Clint and USMNT Clint is superior full-back and mid-field play. The wingers on the great European teams – Benayoun, Kuyt, Malouda, Ashley Young, C. ronaldo, Lennon, Kaka, Robinho, Messi — are playing less, not more, defense than Clint. The loss of Clint will be felt.
That said, if Holden starts, I am eager to see how he handles the biggest test of his young career.
I think he plays better with Fulham because of the other players around him.
The question is not how good Dempsey is or isn’t.
He’s not playing Saturday.
The question is who is the best replacement–Benny or Torres or Holden?
Who stands up to the pressure best?
I’d say Benny.
Holden looked a little scared, or at least tentative, in the Golden Cup finals.
If Holden really does impress us on Saturday, then I think this could be the lineup after Qualifying:
I’ve been unhappy with much of Dempsey’s recent play, but let’s face it, there is a huge drop after Dempsey and Holden.
Bradley needs to enforce Dempsey’s responsibilities ala Fulham.
Holden is not near Dempsey’s technical ability but works 10 times harder and USA fans value that more than skill or creativity. I also like Holden better but Clint is a far better player and will get the critical goals when they are needed the most. Clint is seen as lazy and wasteful but in another counties (Brazil, Spain, etc.) he would be seen as creative.