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Dempsey sidelined 1-2 weeks with calf strain, should be back in time for qualifiers


When Clint Dempsey wasn’t in uniform for Tottenham in Monday’s win against West Ham, the alarm bells started ringing among U.S. Men’s National Team fans about what might be wrong with the American star.

As it turns out, Dempsey has a calf strain that Tottenham manager Andres Villas Boas expects to keep Dempsey sidelined for 1-2 weeks.

If that timetable holds, Dempsey should be back in plenty of time to play for the U.S. Men’s National Team in upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

As scary a proposition as it may seem, Dempsey’s injury could be a blessing in disguise in the sense that it will mean a period of rest for Dempsey ahead of March’s qualifiers. Rest he could use after a recent run of games that has seen him start in six matches in one 19-day stretch (including the trip to Honduras for the U.S. World Cup qualifying loss on Feb. 6th).

What do you think of this development? Think a rest will do Dempsey some good? Think the U.S. could get points out of the next two qualifiers without him?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. After the Honduras game I wrote on another site that I hoped Dempsey wouldn’t play in the next game since he was more likely to get injured. Well, it took a little longer than that, but it wasn’t any surprise since he had been playing so many minutes. This is probably a good thing in the long run. Good thing it wasn’t a hamstring since those take from 4 to 6 weeks.

  2. Another consideration is that Dempsey’s losing out on playing time at a key moment. Tottenham is flying right now, Holtby is in the lineup, Sigurdsson’s getting good minutes, etc. etc. Dempsey may move down the depth chart even as a result of such a minor injury.

    • That’s why they bought Holtby and Sigurdsson.

      Welcome to squad rotation on a big time club. This is likely to be what life is like for Clint from here on out.

  3. This may be heresy, and as a Texan, I’m a huge Deuce fan, but…

    Not having to find a place for him on the pitch may be a blessing in disguise. The man does score goals (recently, the only goals for the Nats), but at times it feels like we are simply playing a man down for the whole game with an automatic goal or two tacked onto the score for us in return.

    Since Dempsey doesn’t fit in as a traditional AM, wide midfielder, or target forward, it would be interesting to see what would evolve in a Dempsey- & Donovan-less formation. That said, I’m sure Klinsmann’s choices might have many fans scratching their heads (or banging them on the wall in frustration).

      • I’d actually be kinda interested in seeing this. Seems like the way to go if no Dempsey, although you’d have to wonder if Klins would drop Shea or Zusi for another DCM (gag).

      • This line-up is capable of producing a goal or 2 vs. Mexico, but take a top 10 soccer nation and they’d struggle to get one over. We’d need Dempsey &/ Donovan to even be a threat to top teams.

        That line-up can surely qualify us in the Hexagonal, but we’d need the studs to hope to advance in the knock-outs of the final.

      • That is not reasonable Rick.

        How about the US get out of the HEX first, before they start worrying about “top ten” nations?

      • Pontius provides better service than Deuce, but obviously lacks the Nats experience and probably Dempsey’s unparalleled (among US players) killer instinct.

        Wondo seems to be afflicted with Fernando Torres Syndrome where he can’t seem to put the ball in the back of the net for whatever reason (near misses, sudden bursts of world class goalkeeping from an average GK, etc.). It’s unfortunate, but at his age and with his previous outings for the USMNT, I doubt he gets any more looks.

        In order of likelihood of seeing them (not necessarily the order we should see them, I’d say:

        Gomez, E. Johnson*, Agudelo, Boyd

        *assuming Shea starts on the left ahead of EJ

    • I’m more keen to get Jones off the pitch than see a “post Deuce” nats side before 2015. Having a “roamer” who also is our most lethal finisher is a case of don’t fix what ain’t broke. Having one of the most steady DMs in Europe not play d-mid for his national side makes no sense whatever.

    • The problem sometimes seems that no only do you believe this, but Klinsmann does as well. I think we have more offensive talent than some give us credit for, but playing three d-mids in the center of the park makes little sense, even if e didn’t. I am much more worried about our back four than I am about our attacking options.

    • I assure you that there is rehab for a calf strain. The training staff (physio) will be working on his calf daily and Dempsey will have a well defined activity program. No way they have a pro athlete just sit in the corner and rest.

  4. the sky is not falling

    the sky is not falling

    the sky is not falling

    the sky is not falling

    the sky is not falling

    the sky is not falling…

    *he says while digging a backyard bunker*

      • Athletes are creatures of habit and form/fitness is a real thing.

        Not playing due to injury isn’t a blessing for an athlete mid-season. I’m a little puzzled why people believe it is.

      • i don’t buy the theory that players need to play all the time, constantly, to maintain form and fitness. humans are not built that way. soccer at the high levels requires insane exertion and the human body needs periods of real rest, or else breaks down.

        silver lining all the way

      • We’re not talking about typical humans. Not to get to hyperbolic but these are world class athletes.

        The typical logic of “how we’re built”, doesn’t really apply, as that’s more of an apples and oranges comparison.

        Not trying to exaggerate when saying that an athlete can lose fitness, fairly easily, in a matter weeks, especially if it’s due to injury.

        Again, I’m not referring to a state of fitness you and I share but rather a professional athlete.

        No silver lining, sorry.

      • Being injured does not mean rest for pro athletes — it means rehab and added stress on other joints, muscles, etc. Not as if he will be at home for two weeks with his feet up on the coffee table.

        I would much rather see him playing games, keeping his edge.

  5. As long as it isn’t more serious than that, this may be just what the doctor ordered…a nice little rest before the crucial Costa Rica home match. A rested and motivated Clint is a serious weapon.

    • having had a few- yes it can be a real slow drag to recover from and nothing about it is a good thing… I’d rather have Dempsey playing and active at 100% ahead of qualifiers as opposed to sidelined- being mentally and physically sharp is always better-no ifs and buts about that

      my first thought as I clicked through was to see how many “silver lining!” posts would here and as expected quite a few…it’s amazing how easy rhetoric can be used to spin anything by the fanboys…

      the recipe is simple: take some names of young USMNT players, highlight one or two things they did well in some game (MLS, Europe or USMNT) and instantly they stand as ready and potentially even better (!!!) replacements than the stalwart, productive veteran who is absent

      bottom-line, there is no silver lining to the only consistently productive offensive weapon in WCQ thus far, Dempsey, being potentially out for this game…. and none for Donovan’s continued absence, no matter how many times people convince themselves that Zusi, or Shea, or anyone else can step in today and be a viable replacement…

      the evidence from the results qualifiers played (actual games that matter) is that this USMNT is weaker than the 2006 and 2010 WCQ editions, despite as seemingly deeper pool of players-this is a large cause for alarm that people keep excusing away with “one bad game”, “bad pitch”, tired players flying from Europe,” “first time in a big game,” nonsense-

      put down the kool-aid, people

      /rant over


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