USA vs. Azerbaijan: Clint Dempsey is last-minute scratch from lineup

Christian Petersen

U.S. Soccer calls it "purely precautionary" in friendly match.

UPDATE: Jurgen Klinsmann and Dempsey both said after the game that they didn't believe there was anything serious. Dempsey went as far as saying he'll be ready for Sunday's game against Turkey at Red Bull Arena.

Clint Dempsey's buildup toward the 2014 World Cup has not gotten off to a great start. In the United States' first of three friendlies, Dempsey was a last-minute scratch from the lineup due to "soreness in his groin." 

Although the lineup decision was deemed "purely precautionary", Jurgen Klinsmann's surprising roster decisions have left his team with even fewer opportunities to play together as a complete group. Dempsey is, of course, expected to be one of the key components of the United States' World Cup hopes.

On the plus side, Klinsmann will get to see how his players cope without their top playmaker and one of their best scorers. In the early going, Chris Wondolowski had a couple good looks at goal and forced Azerbaijan's goalkeeper into a pair of good saves.

From a Sounders' perspective, this probably isn't a huge deal as regardless of injury Dempsey won't be rejoining his club team until at least June 28. 

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