Sounders: Has Clint Dempsey Played his Final Game for USMNT?

HARRISON, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01: Clint Dempsey
HARRISON, NJ - SEPTEMBER 01: Clint Dempsey /

We’re all–Sounders fans included–still reeling from the USMNT’s crushing defeat to Trinidad last night. Will US Soccer start an overhaul?

For the first time since my birth in 1988, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) will not be playing in a World Cup. After their atrocious loss to Trinidad and Tobago last night and wins by Honduras and Panama (due to a stunning goal by Sounders defender Roman Torres, oddly enough), the United States will not be represented in the World Cup next year.

For years, Sounders forward Clint Dempsey has been a key part of the USMNT’s fortunes. He has the goal-scoring record, the international accolades, the international experience, and more. But, at age 34, it might be time for the veteran to step aside from his international duty and stick to MLS.

I expect a full overhaul of the USMNT from top to bottom. Coach Bruce Arena couldn’t improve on the frustrating Jurgen Klinsmann, and an injection of youth needs to be administered to a team of veterans, other than wunderkid Christian Pulisic.

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The calls for a complete overhaul are raining down on Arena and the rest after the worst loss in USMNT history, a game in which the US allowed Trinidad to score their second goal from almost the 50-yardline.

To his credit, Dempsey nearly found a life-saving equalizer and generally played with more urgency than most of his teammates last night, but if the USMNT, which pours millions of dollars into winning, wants to return to the World Cup, it will need more promising young players like the internationally-recognized Pulisic.

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Which means that the Sounders star forward might not, and should not don the American soccer jersey for meaningful international competition again. Like a veteran team that has finally crapped out, the USMNT needs to rebuild and give the kids a shot to prove themselves. They could at least use an injection of passion, if nothing else.