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SBI Question of the Day: Who should be USMNT captain at the Gold Cup?



Clint Dempsey has served as the U.S. Men’s National Team captain for the past two years, but his recent referee fiasco combined with another lynchpin’s strong international performances might pave the way for a change next month.

The U.S. will begin its quest to win a second consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup early next month, and one of the many things head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is likely to consider is who should be his captain for the first major tournament of the new World Cup cycle.

While it has been Dempsey who has mostly sported the armband since 2013, Michael Bradley has made a real good case for himself in recent months. Bradley has led the Americans in Dempsey’s absence in a number of the U.S.’s most recent friendlies, and been a major contributor with his impressive outings and leadership qualities in wins over Mexico, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Further helping Bradley’s cause is Dempsey’s recent run-in with a referee during a U.S. Open Cup loss, one that saw the Seattle Sounders take the official’s notebook and rip it up. Klinsmann sounds unlikely to punish Dempsey for that incident, but could be tempted to name a new captain in Bradley after seeing the Toronto FC ace turn in such consistently positive performances.

Klinsmann may also take into account that Bradley has been an integral part of the Americans’ preparations for the Gold Cup. Whereas Dempsey has only played in two friendlies this year back in the annual winter camp, Bradley has started all seven of the U.S.’s exhibitions.

Neither Dempsey or Bradley would make a bad choice for captain next month, and both will surely help lead the Americans regardless of who wears the armband. Still, a decision will have to be made by Klinsmann in the coming days as the CONCACAF tournament approaches.

With that, we pose the question to SBI readers: Who do you think should be the U.S. captain during the Gold Cup? Cast your vote after the jump.

[polldaddy poll=8948314]

Should it be Dempsey or Bradley who is the USMNT captain during the Gold Cup? Think you cannot go wrong with either? Should it be someone else entirely?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It has to be Bradley. He has been leading by example the past 2 games with his brilliant play, and it clearly rubbed off on the other players. He seems to be able to motivate others.

  2. You can have multiple LEADERS on a team. Both Clint and Michael will be that, regardless of who has the armband.

    One of the primary jobs of the CAPTAIN is to be able to present his team’s arguments to the ref in a respectful manner. This is why captains get away with more ref-talking than other players. At this point in his career, Michael Bradley has shown the level-headedness we need in this role.

  3. Call me crazy, but if I’m the coach and I’m asking my players to challenge themselves and play at the highest level they can, and then the year of the world cup one of my players decides to leave an elite team playing Champions League soccer for Toronto FC at the age of 26 for a bigger salary, I’d think twice about naming him captain.

    A lot of people seem to be confusing captain with ‘best player.’ I think there’s one obvious choice here. The player who has the personality of a captain both on and off the field more than any other on this team is Kyle Beckerman.

      • If I was a millionaire professional soccer player in the prime of my career and I was playing for Roma and that other company was Toronto FC, I’d wait a couple more years before giving up on winning European silverware. MB could have cemented his place as the greatest American soccer player in history and the first American field player to win a major trophy and still collected that massive paycheck when he came back to the states after the 2018 World Cup at the age of 30. But instead he went for the quick bucks.

        Or heck, I would have at least had the transfer occur last summer, after the World Cup, so I wouldn’t have been so out of form when it started because I’d taken several months off.

        There are tons of great European players that could easily make more in China, MLS, Qatar, or the UAE, but they don’t, because when you have that much money, there’s more to it than money. People lost a lot of respect of Lucas Barrios and Hulk after their moves. Carlos Tevez is moving to Boca when he could probably make ten million a year playing in the Middle East.

        I’m not saying Bradley is a bad guy or anything, it just might not be what Klinsmann is looking for in a captain.

      • You are missing the point.

        There was a real,real good chance that Mikey wasn’t going to play for Roma.very much. And that would have imperiled Mikey’s World Cup chances. And overall I’d say Mikey will have a better chance to make a splash in the World Cup than he ever will in the Champion’s league.

        And those tons of great Euro players you are talking about?
        They all have their own motivations. Maybe most of them don’t like the idea of living in China.or the Middle East. I’m pretty sure Mikey would not have gone to China or the Middle East for the same money.

        You noted that Tevez turned down more money to come home. So why do you blast Mikey for taking six times the money to come home?

        And while Mikey was making good money, he wasn’t a big time millionaire like some of the guys you are thinking of. At 26 there was almost no way anyone, anywhere would have ever offered him the money TFC did. That was a one shot, one time offer, take it or leave it.

        He’s not that valuable on a global scale to anyone else other than TFC at that particular moment.

        Mikey did the right thing. Do you think he would have gotten the same offer AFTER the World Cup? .

      • I would say that occasionally coming off the bench for Roma would have been better than SITTING OUT for months because the MLS season doesn’t even start until March. Not only that, his preparation for the World Cup was playing a few games for a ragtag MLS team that couldn’t make the playoffs. The proof is in the pudding, MB90 was AWFUL during the World Cup. And it wasn’t because of his foot; mobility clearly wasn’t a concern because he ran more than anyone else in the tournament.

        99% Euro stars also choose not to come to the MLS, where they could make more than they do in Europe, until their careers are over. This is because they already are millionaires, and when you’re making that much money and your life is soccer, glory is more important than making a couple extra million. So they wait until they’re done pursuing major silverware to come for the big MLS paycheck.

        The Tevez comparison is completely off-base. Tevez is in his 30’s just played in the CL final for a team that will lose many of its key players. This was his last chance at another CL victory. Michael Bradley was 26 and would have played CL ball had he stayed. Also, Toronto, Canada is not “home” for Michael. Boca is for Tevez, and he turned down the millions that he would have made in the MLS because winning a Copa Libertadores means a heck of a lot more than winning an MLS Cup.

        And yes, MB90 most certainly would have gotten the same offer after the World Cup. This is the best and most popular American field player we’re talking about here. He certainly could have signed the same contract and had the transfer take place on July 1. Or, he could have waited until after Russia 2018 and still would have signed a huge contract. He’s MB90.

    • soccer fan crazy,

      As I see it Mikey’s choice at the point in question was:

      Spend a couple of months sitting on Roma’s bench, unless someone got hurt and show up in Brazil encased in Freddy Adu like rust.
      Spend a few months playing regularly for TFC, admittedly a cluster f**k of a team. And getting paid a Gajillion dollars which, just between you and me, no one else was going to offer him either then or now or ever.

      Mikey is no fool.

      I had zero problem with the move because Mikey’s form was unlikely to get a lot better if he sat at Roma and it wasn’t going to get a whole lot worse by playing with that disaster at TFC for a few months. And then Mikey had 4 years to figure out what he wanted to do for the 2018 WC

      At least he was playing and besides, at this point in his development, Mikey is the player he is going to be.

      The only question is, what kind of team is he going to have around him,

      Surround him with early TFC cluster f++k and he will play accordingly. Surround him with the better stuff TFC have now and he will play accordingly. It’s pretty straight forward.

      Oh and Kyle would be a great Captain. Best dirty USMNT player next to JJ.

      • Sitting on Roma’s bench would have been better than doing nothing at all until March. And history proves me right, despite covering more ground than any player in the tournament, MB90 was terrible during the World Cup.

        Why do you have this idea that this was his only chance at this type of offer? Any big market team would always do the same, well into his 30′.

      • He wasn’t terrible. See above. You try to play with a damaged foot passing to a bunch of half-fit players and see how it goes.

      • Bradley is a great player but come on, he was AWFUL during the World Cup. Those “half-fit players” did a tremendous job this past World Cup and he played the worst of all of them besides Wondo and Davis. The nerve damage was in his LEFT foot and he is right footed. And it obviously didn’t affect his mobility much because he covered more ground than anyone else in the tournament. It doesn’t explain his poor performance…going several months without playing though and then playing a few games for that TFC team does. MB90 is a great player and he played his lights out at the 2010 World Cup but let’s be real, Brazil was the worst he’d played in years.

      • “Why do you have this idea that this was his only chance at this type of offer? Any big market team would always do the same, well into his 30′”

        That is easy for you to say.

        You aren’t a pro athlete whose earning power can do down the drain in an instant with one bad tackle.

        And even if you don’t want to consider that, there is the reality that Mikey’s value to TFC was overinflated because of a curious and unique combination of factors that were unlikely to be repeated.

  4. “Dempsey did this, Bradley did that.”

    Whatever. I don’t think I’m talking out of my ass by saying Bradley has everything any team, club or national, would want in a captain. In my opinion, Dempsey just lacks…something. I won’t say he lacks fire because he has certainly shown moments of passion and whatnot but there is a reason why most followers of the USMNT apply the moniker of “The General” to Bradley and not to Dempsey.

  5. My take on the captaincy. A lot of it has more to do with JJ’s stature within the team. Deuce is the compromise pick for captain. The obvious pick for captain is hands down MB. It is beyond obvious…even more so now that he’s had a great run with JJ and Deuce out. The team plays with a completely different mentality when he runs the show and everyone defers to his leadership on the field. No Moping, or ball hogging or half assed effort…everyone is engaged in the effort and fighting hard.

    JK has stated that he gave the captaincy to Deuce to challenge him to be more involved as a leader. Honestly, you could not pick a worse candidate to captain the US team than Deuce. Especially when you have a natural leader in MB. A player who provides all the attributes you want to see in a US captain. So the only plausible reason for Deuce as captain is JK doesn’t have to risk fractionalizing the team by picking between JJ and MB. Leading up to the last WC, picking MB as captain would have been a huge affront to JJ and potentially ruined the vibe in the locker room. So Deuce is the place holder until JJ is no longer an integral part of the team. Since the JJ CB experiment is pretty much over and it appears he’s starting to physically slide and become more injury prone, I think he’ll fade from the picture. I don’t think we see MB as permanent captain until JJ has retired from the nats.

    The best choice for captain is MB…the whole world knows it…it’s just a matter of timing when to do it.

    • bass player

      Nice post. If I ever run for office I’ll have you write up something.

      It’s like that old saying “correlation does not necessarily equal causation”

      Mikey these last few games has been Captain when he and the team are playing well.
      That period correlates with Mikey being Captain.

      Did Mikey being Captain CAUSE them all to play well? I don’t believe that and I don’t see how you can prove that. The team in the last two Euro friendlies was full of guys who had a lot to prove and were eager to do so.

      Mikey has consistently played with the same level of intensity and consistency and has been one of the team leaders for a long time now. Sometimes the team has played well around him sometimes they haven’t. Having the arm band changes nothing with him.

      Building the team around him? That’s more important.

  6. I was captain of my high school team and one time when the game wasn’t going our way, I lost my cool at the ref and threw his card book. He picked it up and gave me a straight red. At the time, I was a busboy/cashier at a restaurant and that night the ref came in for dinner.

    We immediately saw each other and I made sure he had the best treatment and sat in the best area. After his meal he came over to me and tipped me $50 and said “I’m sorry the game didn’t go your way. It’s easy to lose your cool in a game and it’s nothing personal. Good luck in your next game.”

    I too apologized for my actions and said it was crucial to win in order to make playoffs. A few days later my coach let me know that my 1 game suspension had been rescinded.

    Moral of the story is, find out where your officials go to eat, and you have the power to either make him regret his decision, or mess with his food.

  7. Jesus Christ, Dempsey lost his cool and it really isn’t as big of a deal as people are making it out to be. Irresponsible? Yes. Hilarious? Absolutely. Same thing with Hope Solo. People are sensational and might as well live in a tabloid. Call me insensitive or ignorant, but I really don’t care. This isn’t worth stripping Deuce of the armband. He’s been a good captain for the USMNT, and he’s still one of our best players. He didn’t physically hurt someone. Much ado about nothing, really.

  8. Bradley. By a *amn mile. Why is this even a question?

    Does anyone seriously believe that the other guys on the field don’t just defer to Bradley anyway? Whatever the ridiculous explanation from MLS/USSF for reducing the statutorily mandated punishment for Dempsey, the fact that he would just lose it in a competitive match means that his head is not in the right place. Add in his recent injury/family leave and Bradley is the guy. Period.

  9. Bradley was good in the friendlies, but when it mattered in the World Cup he was rubbish. Don’t tell me anything about how he was playing out of position. Dempsey played out of position the majority of his career, and still performed at each big stage……So Dempsey is my man.

      • Nonsense. Bradley was isolated tactically because the system designed for the World Cup blew up with Altidore’s hamstring. It was then nuked from orbit when AJ broke his foot minutes later.

        So a team without a striker, and whatever Dempsey is, he is not a back-to-goal player, was left with a playmaking midfielder pushed higher into the formation than anyone wanted him to be because of the injuries to the team. Bradley sacrificed his game for the good of the team. And of course, the fans here blame him for that, because ESPN needed to throw every barb they could at Klinsmann after Donovan was left home.

      • No. I didn’t forget that either. Just didn’t want to run down the full list of litany. Bedoya’s hip would be included. Zusi’s tender hami.

        Bradley had no one fit to pass the ball to around him, and it was all his fault.

    • Bradley was also playing with nerve damage in his foot, which undoubtedly made him play with Cortisone injections. He might as well have been playing with a wooden paddle as far as his touch was concerned…and it showed.

      He had offseason surgery, and he’s looking a whole lot more like the guy we thought he was. Amazing how much better a guy plays when he can actually feel his foot.

  10. I see giving it to Bradley, Dempsey’s petulance aside. Who knows how much longer Dempsey’s national team days have. It’s time to transition and I think Bradley is the obvious choice. And for those worrying about it having an effect on the locker room, Didn’t seem to worry Klinsmann when excluding Landon and honestly didn’t seem to effect the team much. Now he’s got the perfect excuse and this coming from someone who views dempsey as one of my favorite all time national team players.

  11. Should have been Bradley to begin with. Not sure Clint even really wanted it anyway as he has made coments years prior that it really wasn’t his sort of thing

  12. In all seriousness, why not Beckerman? It’s not like you’re picking an MVP candidate – you’re picking the guy you want communicating with the center ref.

    • It’s not just communicating with the ref. The captain should also be your field marshal reading the game and making adjustments on the field to deal with what the opposition is doing. You need a figure that commands the respect of the rest of the team and is a force in controlling the game and the way your team plays.

      I have no reason to believe the team doesn’t respect Beckerman, and he’s become a player that impacts the game, but MB just has more of a presence on the field and he’s developed the demeanor to be the best captain we have.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if JK inertia keeps Demps as the capt., but I believe if the former capt was retiring and the decision were being made today it wouldn’t be much of a contest.

      • “The captain should also be your field marshal reading the game and making adjustments on the field to deal with what the opposition is doing. You need a figure that commands the respect of the rest of the team and is a force in controlling the game and the way your team plays.”

        Nah, that’s the coach’s job. Or one of the CB’s in the case of the defense. You’re overstating things. If that were the case, a central midfielder would almost always be captain. You’d never see a fullback as captain, but there have been plenty of those. The captaincy is purely symbolic, and its importance is overstated. It’s just the coach’s way of recognizing one of the team’s leaders. And it’s who he wants talking to the ref.

      • The Captain’s importance depends on the team. Some managers do treat them as an extension of the coaching staff. Others as mere symbolic sops to player egos.

        In any case, I wouldn’t change the captaincy before the Gold Cup. After, when Dempsey’s call-ups are naturally going to be reduced, would be a proper time.

    • you’re picking the guy you want communicating with the center ref

      While that’s a single responsibility of a captain, the simplistic nature in which you anoint a captain based on this singular responsibility shows a lack of understanding of how team sports work.

      • Given the crowd of players that regularly surround a ref in any given match for any given call, I’d say that if the central purpose of a captain is to communicate with the center ref, then I say with great purpose that it’s pointless appointing a person with no real purpose.

      • Obviously the reasons a person/player like Tim Howard is named captain (most we don’t even see or have access to) outweigh the singular objective of having a spokesman on the pitch for refs.

        Give me the leader and you can have the press secretary.

      • You’re right, Old School. I don’t have any idea how team sports work. So why don’t you give us the insight of your wisdom and explain this.

        Are you going to tell us some fantasy about how captains set the tone, or direct the tactics? Because, if so, please save your keyboard. At this level, captain is an honorary title, and regardless of who is wearing the arm band, I can’t see that having any impact on anyone’s game.

        Just can’t see Bradley saying, “Gee, I would step forward and play, but then I might be usurping the captain’s control of the team.”

        Yeah, I don’t have any idea about team sports.

      • You obviously don’t. Thank you for saving any need for a rebuttal by covering any and all standard responses (you refer to as fantasy) that you evidently don’t grasp.

        What’s next? Managers are just “honorary” and all styles of man-management are the same outside of X’s and O’s? Just because we’re dealing with grown men doesn’t mean leadership, examples and “tones” aren’t palpable.

        You really don’t have an idea, evidently.

      • Well, we can’t all be the great icons of sport you claim to be. So tell me, how would the armband change Bradley’s game?

        Also, you do realize this isn’t a club team, right?

      • By the way, X’s and O’s? You do realize the type of football this blog is discussing?

        So again, great sage, please enlighten all of us who merely exist in your shadow.

      • You might as well stop before you continue attempting to involve others into your category. I’m quite obviously addressing you – not “all of us”. Don’t look for support or seek it to support your individual opinion. Stand by your own.

        I have no idea why you’re asking a strawman question like: How would this change Bradley’s game? – when you’re the only one having that debate. Although, you’re the one grading Bradley’s leadership ability based on something that happened in South Africa outside a stadium 5 years ago.

        If you’re really seeking wisdom: X’s and O’s a relative term equated to coaching/managing in multiple sports (you apparently believe it’s just football). Given your assessment on team sports – I wouldn’t expect you to know that either, so, I apologize for giving you too much credit.

        My fault for your continued confusion but you aren’t seeking a sage – you’re seeking an education and I’m not employed to provide you one. If you’re not too old, I suggest you try out for a team and learn about what actually goes on within one.

        It’s not fantasies, I assure you but don’t take my word for it. Go learn on your own time.

      • If wearing the armband doesn’t change Bradley’s game – if we call that a strawman argument, as you say – then much of your point about captaincy begins to take on water. In other words, if the guy wearing the armband doesn’t have any bearing on how the guy setting up attacks and for the most part directing on-field tactics in the midfield and forward, then isn’t your tactics argument a little thin?

        Same for the ‘set the tone’ argument. If one doesn’t effect the other, then what are we really talking about here?

        If I’m the only one having that debate, as you claim, then your argument is arguably more lacking than was at first apparent.

        Where did I say something that happened in South Africa over six years ago (not five) had any bearing on Bradley’s leadership? The answer to that is nowhere, and you are a victim of your own reading into comments.

        As for the rest, well, let’s just let all that go, because I’ve had enough fun with you for one night.

  13. “could be tempted to name a new captain in Bradley after seeing the Toronto FC ace turn in such consistently positive performances.”

    If someone else had been named Captain the last few games does anyone believe Mikey’s performance the last few games would have suffered?

  14. I can see this going either way, but I say keep Dempsey as captain. I suspect that the real decision will lie into what goes on in the locker room. Admittedly, I don’t know the inner workings of the USMNT or JK’s mind. With that said, I think that JK chose Dempsey to be the captain mostly because Dempsey was the best player on the team and the player with the best European pedigree. I believe that he was sending a message to all of the other players that they should follow Dempsey’s example and push themselves. It may have also been a message to Dempsey to be more involved in the team. (These may not have been the reasons but I do recall some excerpts from JK that alluded to all of these things.) A couple of years later and now Dempsey is in MLS and pretty much the same character he was before . . . so, has it worked out? I don’t think he has been a failure as captain as he has always given his all on the field, but I can’t recall anything that stood out to me as saying “I am glad that guy is our captain”. Overall, I am kind of “mehhh” on Dempsey as captain. I would like to think that MB would be a better captain (he has matured a lot from his early hot head days, he is the most important player, says all the right things, thoughtful); however, I really don’t know what goes on in the locker room. Stripping a guy (Dempsey) of the band when he truly has given a lot for the USMNT over the years is probably not the best message. I lean towards the status quo.

    • Dempsey and Bradley were in Europe for virtually the exact same amount of time. It also seems pretty much universally accepted that JK gave Clint the armband as a way to challenge him to raise his level by putting that burden on him. It looked good for awhile but he’s back to being a petulant whiner. It must be Bradley.

    • Bradley will be fine and play well with Dempsey as Captain, but to insert some leadership controversy by demoting a present captain seems dumb and risks Dempsey into ambivalent form. No one demotes a captain, they just stop calling them in. Dempsey will be captain through the 2016 Copa Centenario, then Michael Bradley will assume the arm band.

      • I think MB should be captain, I voted for Dempsey and I don’t think it matters much. It’s largely a ceremonial position. I suspect that JK will do something similar to what you suggest. JK will not want to be seen to give in to a two bit referee and the rabble on the message boards. Also, it shows the other players that Klinsmann has their backs. Then, after the Gold Cup, he will start playing Dempsey less and I suspect that he will make MB captain permanently early in 2016

      • Mikey is who you want for your captain.

        The thing is the Captain is there for the manager not the fans.

        Some managers want the best player, some want a coach on the field. Others want the most senior guy and others , like JK use it as a motivational tool. I’ve seen team Captains who rarely get off the bench and Captains who always went 90..

        The Captain job description is up to the manager.

        I had not noticed Mikey’s play being affected by whether he has the armband or not. His recent dominance is more about the fact that the team has lately been more or less built around him.

        I’m fine with JK’s choice whether he wants to name Mikey Captain or if he brings back Bornstein , Sacha, Lichaj, Benny or Dax McCarty and makes one of them Captain.

        It’s irrelevant to me.

        As far as I’m concerned the Captain is there to exchange those Chinese restaurant calendars with his opposite number and shake hands with the ref and his linesmen.

        I just want Deuce and Mikey playing well.

  15. Dempsey’s attitude, chip on his shoulder and will to fight are traits that make him my favorite player. However, Bradley (like his father) is a steady, calming influence and exudes leadership.

    Captain Selection: Michael Bradley

      • A red card that happened six years ago today is the best argument you can make? Pathetic.

      • Didn’t MB recently said publicly that one of the MLS refs was not good enough to officiate league’s matches?

      • Sure. But that’s not assault or abuse. It might merit a one match ban. But players and coaches *questioning* referees has always happened. Will always happen.

      • Bradley isn’t the same person or player he was 2 years ago, 5 years ago or 10 years ago. If you’ve followed the evolution of his game and the way he conducts himself on the pitch, Bradley is drastically different than the Bradley Jr. we saw break in with the Nats.

        Common sense and functional eyesight would disagree with you, Paul.

      • That was a ref who had also been suspended by his domestic football association for “irregularities”; he had no business officiating in the Confed Cup or for a USA a game after the infamous job he did in the USA v Italy 2006 WC match. Michael knew that perfectly well and the call against him was bogus.

    • This is the living definition of a “high class problem”. The media in some countries have elevated the captaincy to a symbol of national identity, and a sacred mandate of divine and mystical meaning, as opposed to piece of elastic worn by an athlete for some period of time in his career. Focusing on “optimizing captain selection” is a distraction we don’t need.

      As long as we have leaders (and we have be blessed with a good history here, even if they might not always have been the most talented soccer players), I’m not really concerned which one we stick the armband on. If a team’s performance in a match was adversely affected by who was in possession of this bauble, it’s likely the team didn’t have enough leaders in the first place. I’d rather we just treat it as an item of minor administrative necessity and move on.

      I understand it’s an honor for these guys, and I hope MB (and maybe a couple others) gets a run at captain because I think he’s earned the right to have that on his CV. And if he gets an opportunity to lift a trophy because of it, well, that’s even nicer — if our country was still working properly, he’d get to meet Elvis, too. Nice things to look back on for the players in consideration, but only slightly more important to me than redesigning our crest in the grand scheme of things.

      • Diego,

        Is Elvis really dead?

        If the US wins the Gold Cup the USSF should get Elvis out of hiding and drag his 80 year old self down to wherever the title game is being held and have him present the Cup to the USMNT Captain.

        I did not realize the King was a big fan.

      • Elvis is very much alive, and according to recently released documents, received checks totaling $12 million from Jack Warner to set up a series of youth development academies in Montserrat and Barbados.

      • In that case, at 80 years old do you think Elvis is too old to run for the FIFA Presidency?

        That would certainly energize that special election.

  16. I’m sorry, and i love Dempsey, but you can’t continue to reward players that show no respect for opposing players or referees and that is what Demps has been doing since he’s come back stateside. It smells of a diminishing of the respect MLS deserves and the only way to send a message is to give the armband to a player who shows and commands respect, is a role model on and off the field, etc. Right now, that ain’t demps and i’m guessing i will get some backlashing for this post but gotta call a spade a spade!

      • Oh shutup you authoritarian referee loving clowns. The way people go on you’d think Dempsey did something serious like get arrested for punching his 17 year old nephew in the face.. At least he cares about the US Open cup enough to tear up a notebook. Dempsey’s petulance is age old and his in game performance against LA in last year’s playoff’s was a prime example and a better reason for him to lose the arm band. However it depends what you want from a captain. Michael Bradley is always the best prepared player, he assumes the worst, he’s ready for the worst, he called last world cup, at World Cup of Pain even before it started.

        Bradley is captain pragmatism.

        Dempsey is captain optimism, he’s always trying ridiculous tricks and hopeful shots and passes in game. It’s that cocky self belief that let him score 34 seconds into the Ghana game.. But when contained and bottled up that frothy ebullience turns sour and you get the petulant Demspey we saw in the US Open Cup or in the MLS playoff loss to LA.

        So which example do we want for the younger players in the squad. That is the only question.

      • The way people go on you’d think Dempsey did something serious like get arrested for punching his 17 year old nephew in the face…

        If he were a woman, our white knights on here would be defending his actions, inclusion on the team and any potential penalty imposed as a result.

      • I presume you are referring to the US Women’s goalie. So far that whole thing should not even have been discussed in the media. A person is presumed innocent until… Dempsey should be an example and not show in a game that he can’t keep his cool.

      • Could be talking about Wambach’s petulant comments as well. And while her apology got her off, it’s a valid question if someone who has spent the entire World Cup justifying her poor performances should be starting.

      • L. Cakes,

        “which example do we want for the younger players in the squad. That is the only question.”

        JK said he made Dempsey Captain because he wanted him to be more of a leader on and off the field for the younger guys. This is probably why JK has also made guys like Clint, JJ, Mikey, Timmy and even Jozy, Captain.

        Clint’s recent kerfuffle, for which he has apologized and taken responsibility, was certainly stupid and embarrassing but if you are going to tell me there is player in the USMNT pool who (a) doesn’t have some stupid disciplinary thing of their own on their record and (b) doesn’t respect Clint’s exceptional record and experience , then I’ll say you aren’t paying attention.

        You must think the younger USMNT players are stupid,naïve, and credulous.

        If Clint goes up to one of these young guys and tells them something about an upcoming Gold Cup game are they going to think:

        ” Hey this f**k lost it in a US Open match, shamed the ref and brought disgrace upon the sacred name of Adrian Hanauer and the Seattle Sounders! F++k him! I ain’t listening to such a monster! He doesn’t belong here!”

        My guess is even if they do think that, they will still pay attention to Deuce.

      • Did you see the apology? I have seen a lot written about the incident but haven’t seen an apology. Just wondering.

      • “Oh shutup you authoritarian referee loving clowns.”

        Love it. People need to relax. He ripped up a notebook. Get over it. Apparently Jurgen did. And who is named captain is frankly irrelevant to the outcome of the game.

        I just want to see both play well.

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