The offseason is only days old, but already three Sounders FC players are eyeing 2014 and the FIFA World Cup.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson all got the call from Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the final friendlies of the year for the U.S. National Team, visiting Scotland on Friday and Austria on November 20. Sounders FC features half of the six MLS-based players who were called in for the friendlies.
The trio departed over the weekend and will train in Scotland with the U.S. ahead of Friday’s friendly at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
“The game against Scotland is crucial for us because we have so few games between now and when we name the roster for the FIFA World Cup,” Klinsmann said on USsoccer.com. “It’s a huge opportunity for the players, and we are excited to play against a team and in a venue that has so much tradition and history in football.”
Dempsey has already matched his top-scoring international season with six goals in just 10 matches and will look to add to that total. He has 36 career goals in 101 international appearances.
After joining Sounders FC in August, Dempsey scored one goal in nine matches and assisted on a goal in the playoffs against the Colorado Rapids. He now has 26 goals in 80 career MLS matches.
Evans has sprung into the starting right back role this year with eight starts in nine appearances for the national team, tallying one goal and two assists. He now has 15 caps in his career.
Evans had four goals and was second on the team with five assists for Seattle this season, playing 24 matches. In five seasons with Sounders FC, he has 17 goals and 19 assists in 112 matches.
Johnson is back into prominence with the U.S. after making his return to the international stage last year. He shares the team lead with DaMarcus Beasley with 15 appearances this year, starting in nine matches and scoring five goals, giving him 19 goals in 59 career appearances.
In his second season with Sounders FC, Johnson scored a team-leading nine goals in just 21 matches and added two goals in three playoff matches against the Rapids and Portland Timbers. He has 23 goals in two seasons in Seattle, giving him 64 goals in 176 matches in his MLS career.
Friday’s match is scheduled for a 12 p.m. PT kickoff and will be televised live on ESPN2. The November 20 match against Austria at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna will kick off at 11:45 a.m. PT on NBC Sports Network.