History will likely be very kind to Clint Dempsey’s international legacy. If the game against Trinidad & Tobago turns out to be his final appearance for the Stars and Stripes, he’ll finish with the third most caps in USMNT history, tied for the most goals and being the only American man to have scored in three World Cups. That he was also part of the first USMNT squad in eight cycles to fail to qualify for the World Cup will likely be nothing more than a footnote at some point.
In an interview with Steve Zakuani (above), Dempsey seems well aware of all this.
“We’ll see what happens,” Dempsey said about his future with the USMNT. “In terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish with the national team, I’m at peace with that. But it’s not really about me, it’s about the group of guys they want to have moving forward. If I can play a role in trying to help, well then yeah if I’m feeling good and I’m playing well, you’ll never say no. But if the call never comes, I’m still happy, still at peace, and I’ll focus on being here and the time i have left.”
Along those lines, Dempsey didn’t ask anyone to feel sorry for him.
“The players you really feel bad for are the younger players, who haven’t had a chance to experience playing in a World Cup,” Dempsey said. “I know they’ll right the wrong in the next World Cup qualifying.”
While acknowledging that CONCACAF qualifying is never easy, he wasn’t exactly offering much in terms of excuses.
“We need to be better,” he said. “You look at the Gold Cup — not the last one but the one before that — that was a failure. Not getting to the final, losing to Jamaica in the semifinals. That was tough to take. There need to be improvements. We need to be producing better players. We need to be playing a better style and hopefully that will happen in the future.”