Clint Dempsey is “all good” and will play in the US national team's send-off match against Turkey on Sunday, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on Thursday, despite a groin issue which kept the US captain out of Tuesday's 2-0 win over Azerbaijan.
“A lot of work yesterday. We kind of made sure he's not going sideways,” Klinsmann told reporters as the USMNT departed their pre-World Cup training camp at Stanford University in Northern California ahead of Sunday's friendly at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. (2 pm ET, ESPN2).
“That was kind of bothering him and worrying him a little bit. He's all good. Today they have an easy regen day, travel day. So by tomorrow full speed in training. Everything is good.”
Dempsey was removed from the starting lineup just before kickoff of Tuesday's match at Candlestick Park, citing groin tightness, and on Thursday his coach reemphasized that the decision was one made with an abundance of caution with the USMNT's World Cup curtain-raiser against Ghana less than three weeks away.
“There's no reason why we should risk now anything,'” Klinsmann said. “It was not really risk, but it was a lot of work they put in here the last two-and-a-half weeks, so we just decided there on the field, c'mon, it's good [to sit him]. But he's ready to go.”
Klinsmann and his squad will face Turkey at the home of the New York Red Bulls before moving on to Jacksonville, Fla., for their final friendly on June 7 against Nigeria before departure for Brazil. But they say they'll carry fond memories of their Stanford experience, which Klinsmann called “an amazing experience” and “top quality.”
Said midfielder Kyle Beckerman: “It's been amazing, it really has. It's been everything you could possibly want or need for a World Cup preparation.”