In case there were lingering doubts about how Clint Dempsey's outburst in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup match was going to affect his standing on the United States national team, Jurgen Klinsmann pretty much put those to rest. Dempsey was among the 23 players called into the United States Gold Cup team and Klinsmann's comments about his most frequent captain don't seem to indicate any lingering concerns.
"It's something that nobody wants to see," Klinsmann said in his Q&A with USSoccer.com. "It's a mistake, and mistakes happen. So, obviously when he comes in next week to Nashville in preparation for our friendly game with Guatemala, we'll sit down and talk through that and we'll go from there.
"It's something that nobody wants to go through. Nobody wants to get red carded. Nobody wants to get suspended and be in discussion by the fans and the media for a mistake you make. But it's on the other hand, it's part of the game too. So we'll take a little bit of a step back and we'll discuss it in person in a relaxed way and go from there. "
Those don't sound like the comments Klinsmann would be making if he were trying to send a message to Dempsey. There's no hint that Dempsey's standing as team captain is in jeopardy or even his starting spot.
As bad of a decision as Dempsey made in the heat of the moment, Klinsmann doesn't seem particularly worried that this is the start of some kind of new normal. Dempsey has always played with a certain fire, often pushed the line when it came to dealing with opponents and referees. But Dempsey had never so clearly crossed it until now, and Klinsmann seems willing to accept that it was a one-off incident. Hard to blame him for feeling that way, especially considering the punishment levied by U.S. Soccer conveniently cleared the way for Dempsey to not miss any time with the national team.