Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – U.S. national soccer team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann declared that no player is guaranteed a spot on the 2014 World Cup squad, even captain Clint Dempsey.
“There is no guarantee for anyone,” Klinsmann said. “Clint threw himself into a shark tank coming back to MLS and the expectations are above the clouds. His own expectations are the highest, and therefore it is a huge process he is going through right now.”
Dempsey, who returned to MLS after seven seasons in the English Premier League, suffered a shoulder sprain Sunday in Seattle’s 1-0 loss to Portland
Klinsmann said he understood the pressure Dempsey feels when returned to MLS, which made him the face of the league.
“He is not one of many in the Premier League and that is a very difficult task to deal with because they expect a goal every game, which is impossible because three guys jump on him,” Klinsmann said.
The United States (6-2-1), which clinched its seventh straight World Cup berth last month, beat Jamaica 2-0 to seal first place in the 2014 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group last week.
Klinsmann said the squad is building up depth at both full back positions, suggesting that Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones can be leaders in the central midfield.
“We will build other people around that with Clint Dempsey if we guide him one step after another towards that World Cup,” he said. “He can be an impact player, and with Jozy (Altidore) we have another kind of player who builds that spine.”