MANAUS, Brazil – Clint Dempsey was scheduled to speak to the media on Saturday for the first time since he broke his nose in Monday’s 2-1 victory against Ghana (above). Then, apparently, plans changed.
No offense to late replacement Jermaine Jones, who’d already been trotted out for media on Thursday, but he couldn’t possible answer the questions on everyone’s minds regarding the United States’ captain during the pregame press conference.
So instead of getting a first-hand answer from Dempsey about whether he was still having trouble breathing, whether he’d wear a mask and how the broken nose would affect him in a match that could send the Americans through to the knockout stage, we’ll just have to take US coach Jurgen Klinsmann at his word.
Nothing to see here, said the German.
“Clint is all good to go,” Klinsmann said, before chuckling and adding a humorous jab at the reporters gathered at Arena Amazonia. “We tried to rotate the players for you guys. He’s all good.”
During the 15 minutes training was open to the media, Dempsey participated, as he has all week, while sporting a black eye. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson confirmed there were no lingering concerns with the US captain. He is expected to start against Portugal on Sunday (6 pm ET, ESPN).