TORONTO — US soccer fans have been salivating for months about the prospect of seeing Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, America’s two most dynamic attackers on the field together. Their craving was served an appetizer against Brazil.
Now apparently it’s time for the main course.
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Dempsey, who has been struggling for fitness these past few weeks, is set to start on Sunday against Canada, according to coach Jurgen Klinsmann (7 pm ET, NBCSN/Sportsnet, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
“Clint looks good. Clint looks ready to go,” Klinsmann said. “We’re very happy about that.”
Until Dempsey subbed on in the 56th minute of the Brazil match, he and Donovan had not suited up together for the US since the Gold Cup final in June 2011. The US are preparing for their first 2014 World Cup qualifiers, June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda and June 12 away to Guatemala.
The Canada friendly is the first true chance for Dempsey and Donovan to apply the chemistry they’ve often shown within the USA’s new 4-3-3 system. According to Klinsmann, the pair will be to his philosophy: “a high pace, high-tempo game, creating chances, having possession, keeping the ball.”
“Having both on the field at the same time gives you a lot of quality,” Klinsmann said. “It took a while to get them together. The first taste came against Brazil. Now they’re ready to go in there from the beginning.”
Altidore still not ready
AZ Alkmaar forward Jozy Altidore is getting closer to fitness, but is not quite ready for a full 90 minutes.
"Jozy is still trying to catch up," Klinsmann said. "We'll see if he comes from the beginning or from the bench [against Canada]. But he's working hard."