Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey has been left off the 23-man roster for the U.S. National Team’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, leaving him with only MLS play to focus on if the Sounders can continue their postseason push.
U.S. Soccer revealed the roster on Friday ahead of the team’s qualifiers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis and Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain on Nov. 17.
Dempsey, who ranks sixth all-time with 120 career caps for the USMNT, has scored nine goals in 10 appearances for Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad this year, but Klinsmann said he was eager to let the group’s younger players see minutes in what should should be a manageable two-game set for the Americans.
“I want to give the younger strikers a chance to prove themselves and this is a good stage to do it,” Klinsmann told USsoccer.com. “I communicated with Clint about it and it’s all fine.”
The Sounders will play at FC Dallas in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday (4:30 p.m. PT; FS1/KIRO 97.3 FM/El Rey 1360 AM). If they advance they’ll host the first leg of the Western Conference Championship when the postseason resumes after the FIFA international break next week.
Dempsey has scored four goals in his past three games for Seattle, including the game-winner in the first leg against Dallas on Nov. 1.
"I think [Klinsmann] went with a younger group up front," Schmid said. "I think he's looking at these two games and saying, 'Hey, let's give these younger guys a shot and maybe stay away from the teams that are still in the playoffs."
Sounders midfielder/defender Brad Evans, meanwhile, was also left off the USMNT roster as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury suffered against the LA Galaxy on Oct. 28.
“Injuries always play a big role for rosters,” Klinsmann said. “Unfortunately we do not have Alejandro Bedoya on the roster because he’s still not back in place right now after he was sick around the Mexico game. Nick Rimando is not available and Brad Evans, who pulled his hamstring with the Seattle Sounders, is not available either. We have players in place who are ready to come in and make their marks. We’ll make the best out of it. We hope for them to get back on the field as quickly as possible.”
Former Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin is back in Klinsmann’s group after appearing in 17 of the 18 USMNT matches this year, and Sounders FC Academy product and current Stanford University forward Jordan Morris is also on the roster.
Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe and New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga both received their first call-ups. Nagbe, who became a U.S. citizen just two months ago, has 23 goals and 20 assists in five seasons with the Timbers. Miazga, meanwhile, has been with the Red Bulls since 2013 and helped his side with the Supporters’ Shield this season.
U.S. Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (8) : Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Club Leon), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (5) : Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)