We remember those early days of Clint Dempsey playing for the New England Revolution. A hard nosed player that put himself into position for a scoring chance. Those early days playing for the National Team where he wanted the ball and buried every single chance he got. The Friendly at Soldier Field against England where he scored that second half goal on the rebound and showed his emotions. That facial expression was the start of US Soccer’s “Don’t Tread On Me” Campaign on the internet. Well I’m sorry to say that Clint Dempsey has lost his fire for the National Team. He has lost that spring in his step.
Ever since his move to the Premiership with Fulham all Clint Dempsey has cared for is playing for his club side. He hasn’t shown the same fire and passion for his National Team in the matches that really matter in these past World Cup Qualifiers. If he believes he doesn’t need to work for a roster spot during qualifying and is waiting for Bob Bradley to hand it to him if the USA qualifies then he has another thing coming. He is a special talent and when he proves it on the field for Fulham, we expect him to give his country the same thing. Now assisting on Carlos Bocanegra’s header for the Game Winning Goal against Honduras was nice, but he owes us so much more after playing flat in Costa Rica and his disgusting display of trick moves that made him cough up the ball to allow Honduras that fifth minute tally.
Remember how many times we were begging Bruce Arena during the 2006 World Cup to put Dempsey on the field. Remember how happy we were when he started against Ghana and he scored that equalizer. We wanted to see the next generation of good American talent show up on the world stage and prove to us that positive expectations were coming. Now look at him. The human light switch turning it on or off whenever he wants to and he does it while wearing the USA shirt.
Clint Dempsey who got his fair share of benching at Fulham by Roy Hodgson till he got a chance to prove himself was a ball of fire scoring goals and setting them up got his starting spot back. I understand that Fulham pays his salary for club football in England, but when you are considered a top talent for the US National Team and a driving force to get three points in a much needed World Cup Qualifier then show up and do some damange like we knew you could starting your professional football career here in MLS.
No we don’t play Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Mexico each and every week. But show us that you do care when the National Team goes against a Costa Rica, a El Salvador, a Jamaica, a Trinidad & Tobago and so on. Like I have said before Clint you were brilliant setting up Bocanegra’s winning goal in the 69th minute, but you’ve performed to many dumb plays & un-inspiring matches when you fail to put your brains and passion for the Stars & Stripes. Look at Jozy Altidore right now. He hasn’t had any minutes from Villarreal or Xerez, yet he is playing with his heart while not being match fit.
It might not happen but if I was the head coach of the National Team, Dempsey wouldn’t get any minutes in the Confederations Cup, the Gold Cup and the qualifier in Mexico City. I want to see that fire and passion come back when his back is against the wall by the coaching staff.