Just as Clint Dempsey was finding his form for the Seattle Sounders, he’ll be called away for the knockout stages of the Gold Cup, according to a report in Goal.com. The formal announcement is expected to come later Saturday with Dempsey one of the five veteran USMNT players called in. Dempsey will be joined by Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and Darlington Nagbe.
There’s no word yet on who will leave the team to make room, although it would stand to reason that at least one forward and midfielder would return to their clubs. If neither Jordan Morris nor Cristian Roldan are released, the Sounders could be without as many as five presumed starters. Chad Marshall and Osvaldo Alonso are expected to miss at least the United match while recovering from injuries they suffered against the Colorado Rapids.
Dempsey has not been at Sounders training the past two days and was spotted at the airport on Thursday.
If the USMNT qualifies for the final, Dempsey would miss at least two Sounders matches and might only be available off the bench for the July 29 match against the LA Galaxy. The Gold Cup final will be played on July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The Sounders host D.C. United on July 19 and the San Jose Earthquakes on July 23. The Earthquakes are currently without Anibal Godoy (Panama), Marco Urena (Costa Rica) and Darwin Ceren (El Salvador), while United is currently missing Bill Hamid (USA).
In addition to trying to help the USMNT win a sixth Gold Cup title, this is also a good chance for him to set the national all-time scoring record. Dempsey is currently on 56 goals, one behind Landon Donovan. Twelve of those goals have come in the Gold Cup, where he’s scored at a rate of .57 per match. He could also get a chance to score his first-ever goal against Mexico, the nation he’s faced more times (nine) than any other without scoring.