Dempsey, Altidore unlikely to start versus Brazil


photo by Bernd Feil/


LANDOVER, Md. — When the U.S. men's national team's starters walk through the tunnel at FedEx Field on Wednesday, two players who likely will not be among that group are Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

The two American attackers seem all but set to begin the United States' game with Brazil on Wednesday night on the bench after missing the initial week of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's training camp, which was held in the blistering heat of Orlando, Fla. Altidore missed that time due to his club not releasing him until this past Monday, while Dempsey was nursing a groin injury that he sustained near the end of the Premiership season.

For both players, that time off has resulted in them not being fully fit. And not many days are left for them to make up for that with World Cup qualifying around the corner.

"(Altidore) was not released by his club, AZ Alkmaar, before (Monday), which made me very angry and it put Jozy in a very difficulty position because he had a couple of weeks off and he was not allowed to train with us," said Klinsmann. "The guys that came in on the 15th of May they trained sometimes three sessions a day, and he's behind them, he's behind them. It makes it very difficult for him now to catch up."

"With Clint, we are pleased that he is back in the training, his groin injury is gone," added Klinsmann. "But he also knows that he still needs to catch up with the group. But finally we have the 23 guys together that we wanted. That gives us more options and opportunities, so that's the situation right now. We're happy and we'll see how far we take these guys already with us."

Both players did fitness work after Tuesday's training session inside FedEx Field, but Dempsey acknowledged that while he is making progress, he is not ready to go the distance.

"I think it would be a big ask for me to try and play 90 minutes tomorrow," said Dempsey.

The Fulham striker also touched on the topic many U.S. fans and media have discussed in recent months: how he and Landon Donovan will play together after not having done so in Klinsmann's first 10 months in charge of the U.S. team.

Whether it's been poor timing or injuries, the two American stars have not played together since last summer's Gold Cup final against Mexico (when Bob Bradley was still in charge of the team). Dempsey, however, is not concerned by that and he says there have not been any discussions as to how they will approach the way they play under Klinsmann when they eventually do step onto the field together.

"It's a team game," said Dempsey. "To me, it's not important whether two players are playing together or not. The most important thing is how the team is doing, that they're moving in the right direction and the time will come when it's supposed to come that we'll be on the field at the same time.

"But I think people are making more of a big deal out of it than what it should be. The most important thing is the direction the team is moving in and how we're going to do in the World Cup qualifying phases and how we're going to do if we do qualify in the World Cup. That's what it's all about."

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57 Responses to Dempsey, Altidore unlikely to start versus Brazil

  1. PaulTheOctopus says:

    Hey, I know this is random. But does anyone else want to see a potential USA vs. Russia matchup? Let’s resurrect that long-lost international rivalry. Heck, that rivalry got us to the freaking moon.

    Russia is ranked 11th by FIFA. I say it’s time we find ourselves another talented rival besides Mexico. It’ll be good for us.

    Here, i’ll start: Word on the street is that Russia said US Soccer straight up sucks balls!!!!!!!

  2. Dinho says:

    You don’t want to make him angry…….!!!!

  3. squirt-lover says:


  4. DingDong says:

    Wait, so if you aren’t starting, you don’t walk through the tunnel?

  5. DingDong says:

    Oh, I reread the sentence.

  6. Alex says:

    What are you, a DingDong? 😛

  7. Mark says:

    I hope Herculez gets to start. He hardly ever gets enough minutes to prove himself.

  8. marden08 says:

    Coach has discovered a secret intangible in goal scorers. It is called “hunger”. He had better copyright the concept because a lot of SBI posters are starting to use it without attribution.

  9. Juan says:

    Altadore should not even be on the bench. Its not fair to the others and Klinsmann did not put Parkhurst on the bench for the same reason. How can he justify dressing Jozy?

  10. elgringorico says:

    I’m with ya buddy!

  11. dan says:

    This is what I’m talking about

  12. Drew says:

    Well…Juan. Altidore has scored a little bit more goals over his career than Parkhurst. So in your logic Donovan shouldn’t have been allowed to score that hat trick the other night since he hasnt played for them in 8 months. Idiot.

  13. marco says:

    It may sound far fetched but I’m guessing they may miss the first qualifier also.

  14. ernj says:

    Hasn’t been officially announced, but it will be in November.

  15. 2tone says:

    Well. That means we will probably see the same line-up that started against Scotland. The only alteration I see is starting Gooch over Cameron at CB.

    Should be a good game. I really hope they come out with a positive mentality, and try to not to be to defensive.

  16. Juan says:

    Focus on what I said…it’s not that hard to understand…has nothing to do with Donovan but with when you arrive in camp vs when you play.

    Altadore arrived Monday…hasn’t played anywhere in weeks. He cannot be in game shape. Why would he make the bench over Boyd, Wondo, or Herc who have all been playing and have been in camp? Kilnsmann already set a precedent with Parkhurst by not dressing him after he arrived late and he is in game shape… why would Altadore not also be subject to same standard?

    Nothing causes resentment on a team more that partial treatment and special rules for special people.

  17. C(note) says:

    Also, not altidore’s fault consider his club didn’t release him until yesterday

  18. C(note) says:

    Also, not altidore’s fault consider his club didn’t release him until yesterday

  19. Lost in Space says:

    I think you’ve nailed it. Only change to the starting 11 should be Gooch for Cameron. However, I do hope that both Jozy and Dempsey get a run out (say 30 minutes). I think that their addition would really help keep the pressure on Brazil.

  20. Lost in Space says:

    Herculez is a great player to have come off the bench. Not sold on his inclusion in the starting 11 for the national team when the full complement of players is available. I think JK’s preference is to have a big boddied forward to pressure the center backs…hence Boyd starting against Scottland…while using Gomez/Wondo as sparks off the bench.

  21. Liverpool Fan says:

    I think Parkhurst’s not being on the bench had more to do with giving him the time to recover from playing 90 and traveling just a day before the match against Scottland.
    JK has shown a preference to use a big center striker to help hold up play and get others involved. I don’t see Herc or Wondo being able to do that effectivly. They are more a supporting striker or a slasher type…and should be considered alternates to Donovan & Torres in the formation we used against Scottland. Jozy & Boyd are the only 2 Target strikers in this camp, so I expect them both to get time against Brazil.

  22. GW says:

    Why does this bother you so much?

    These treament issues are best dealt with by people who know and understand the entire picture.

    And I’ll bet you don’t know any more about the entire picture than any of us. And I doubt you know more about it than JK.

    It’s his team so why don’t you just let him handle it?

  23. GW says:

    Why are you so sure JK will use the same formation against Brazil?

  24. Judging Amy says:

    Agreed on your assessment. We need Herc for qualifying but at 32, he’ll be close to falling out of his prime by the WC in 2014. Ideally Boyd, Agu and others develop.

  25. pd says:

    I think we see them both in the second half tomorrow, then start and go 60 or 70 against Canada, depending on how they look against the Samba Boys.

    And Deuce is right, this whole “are you guys friends or enemies” thing is ridiculous. There are many things about Bristish soccer culture we should emulate but their penchant for off-field distraction bordeing on self-destruction is not one of them.

  26. Judging Amy says:

    maybe pro soccer players aren’t as emotionally fragile as message board fans.

  27. Eurosnob says:

    Juan, Altidore is an established starter for the USMNT, who led the team in scoring in the last WC qualifying and played great in the Gold Cup until his injury. You should not compare him to Parkhurst who has had a very limited role with the USMNT until now and is essentially a fringe player.

  28. jones says:

    yeah, right on.

    I’m sure he gets tired of the often sole focus of mainstream American sports culture on Donovan (I know I do sometimes). I really how thoughtful he is above with his comments about team progress. What a class player.

  29. jones says:

    *oops – I meant “I really like how thoughtful…” above

  30. mistadobolina says:

    the Russians have stated that its on, but no confirmation from USSF. The Russia FA said it would be in the US somewhere warm; probably Miami but i think San Diego or Houston would be cool.

    it would be a great rivalry, fans would get into it! but we really need a friendly vs. Ghana!

  31. Vic says:

    I made this point on Saturday before the Scotland game(if anyone wants to go back and look). The USA-Scotland game maybe our most skilled performance in a long time. People got on my case because Dempsey and Altidore weren’t playing. I said they both deserve to start but skill and touch isn’t there strong point. Well I was right. I think we will be fine against Brazil without Dempsey and Altidore starting. (Fyi, i’ve made 2 other predictions this year, Liverpool wouldn’t finish in the top four and our U-23 would outplay Mexico) 3 for 3 so far. Look for a nice display tomorrow.

  32. pd says:

    I thought Herc was much more effective than Boyd, actually Boyds positioning was good but he was slow to react when th ball got to him, whereas there was no such issue with Herc. Boyd will get there over time, but Herc’s the present. I just don’t know if he’s the man for the job for a full 90 minutes.

  33. pd says:

    So what prize did you mom give you when you came up from the basement to tell her about your prodigious prognostication power?

  34. JustinV says:

    What’s up with Ernie Stewart not releasing Jozy? Bad blood with him and Juergen?

  35. Weaksauce says:

    Russia > mexico

    All the mexicans think we have a rivalry because they all live in the US and soccer is all they got. The reality is the stadium is never 100% full and most the fans are mexican because US fans dont want to be around them!

  36. whoop=whoop says:

    Great game, fun to watch, plenty of skill on display…. but it in no way shape or form affirms that say… Boyd is more skilled than Jozy. I won’t even discuss Dempsey. I say this as someone who was encouraged by Boyd’s performance and optimistic over his future. That said, I also say it as someone who saw a fair amount of Jozy’s goals in the Eridvise that displayed great skill, his growth over the last year and his very solid performances the last few times for the US. The good news is, for the first time in…. well, ever, we have some depth, difficult decisions and quality choices 3 deep at some positions.

  37. whoop=whoop says:

    It’s kind of curious but…. straight up, I’m going to give Ernie the benefit of the doubt considering what he has done that is positive for Jozy’s career and form over the last year. I’d say on balance, it is WELL worth missing one meaningless friendly.

  38. away goals says:

    Giving altidore minutes off the bench isnt partial treatment. It’s restoring your #1 striker to match sharpness ahead of important qualifiers.

    With all due respect to parkurst, his sharpness is… less of a priority, let’s say.

    There are few hard and fast precedents in elite competition. Fringe players understand that they are fringe players.

  39. away goals says:

    Your second sentence was pretty good, anyway.

    But dempsey not having skill? Are you maybe thinking of a different tatted up texan on fulham?

  40. Kenny_B says:

    You proved nothing and your comment is even more inane by virtue of you asserting it a second time. Two of your supposed variables didn’t even compete.

  41. Jamie says:

    They were building a football academy in Curaco(Dutch Caribbean territory), maybe they thought it would be useful to have the only player on the team of Caribbean descent(Haiti) go with them?

  42. Four Cents says:

    It’s not really the fans that are going overboard about the Deuce/Donovan playing together thing- it’s ze media.. LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

  43. Louis Z says:

    don’t get caught up on JK’s rules, he often breaks them.

  44. louis z says:

    Frankly I didn’t think there was enough of a sample from Herc to make a comparison with Boyd. I think he played around 15 minutes or so I you think he was that much better? Did Herc had a shot on goal, I don’t remember if he did, all I remember is him continuing the play that led to JJ goal.

  45. louis z says:

    don’t be surprise if you see Goodson, after all he and BOCA played the offside trap to a tee in the Italy game and this game coming up had the same script written all over it.

  46. pd says:

    Yes, because the Cold War was such a feel-good time…

    Shall we say we.’re playing a tournament against Vietnam and Korea but in reality actually be playing China and Russia? The Russians can do the same with Afghanistan (but really play us again)…

  47. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    “Dempsey and Altidore weren’t playing. I said they both deserve to start but skill and touch isn’t there strong point.”

    Especially in regards to CD, this is just wrong.

  48. Hoss says:

    Skill and touch isn’t Dempsey’s strong point? Are you kidding? They’re his hallmark. You may be good (or lucky) at predicting the future, but your observation of the present is lacking.

  49. Annelid Gustator says:

    Hahaha-well done.

  50. bryan says:

    i agree with the guy below saying you can’t make that comparison. by the time herc came in, we were sitting in a 4-3-3 for the rest of the game. we started in a 4-3-2-1 and stayed that way until the second half. so herc never really played by himself like boyd did in the first half. herc will be fine i a 4-3-3, but if we are going to falling back into a 4-3-2-1, he’s not the man. i wouldn’t even replace him for torres in the 4-3-2-1 because he doesn’t track back and tackle like torres.

  51. bryan says:

    dude, i totally forgot about all the offsides against italy. that was some intense stuff.

  52. THomas says:

    Definately Houston…or the surface of the moon.

  53. Vic says:

    Dempsey is great player and a definate starter. He is a world class finisher. His shielding and possession skills aren’t the best. I’m just glad that we have more skilled players on the squad. I believe we are capable of dominating teams like Scotland more often but we need the right selections. We have a good and well organized defense. We also have players that could finish at any level (Donovan and Dempsey). The only thing we lack at times is possession players (like Torres, Corona, Jones, Bedoya, Feilhaber and Adu). I’m glad players like Shea, Klesjtan and Beasely weren’t called in. They’re not bad players individually, however, if too many of them play, good teams dominate us in possesssion. As in the past we go down early then our oppositon sits back defending a lead (Slovakia WC2010, Mexico friendly). Naturally we have more possession and sometimes we comeback. I don’t want USA to play that way. We are capable of so much more.

  54. Annelid Gustator says:

    We will be eaten alive if we try that against Brazil. Dismantled.

  55. marco says:

    And thats why Klinsmann is not playing him. He’s out of shape, and he says it flat out.

  56. sam says:

    Your point isn’t really wrong. Torres is perhaps the most technically tidy player in the side. The issue, though, is not with Dempsey, who’s one of the most skilled players in the team, or Altidore, who has more skill than the other options at center forward.

    Bradley, Jones, Dempsey, Donovan, and Altidore will be locks. The question, when the team is at full strength, will be whether Torres, Edu, Beckerman or a winger joins them. As you say, having Torres out there does really help the possession game.

  57. Vic says:

    When everyones healthy we have so many skilled players, it makes it hard for the less skilled players to get playing time. Previously Torres was injured, Corona wasn’t on the radar and neither was Boyd. Klesjtan, Shea, Agudelo and Beasely got the call over players like Adu, Feilhaber and Bedoya (So right now with so many options, its a moot point, fortunatley.