Clint Dempsey will suit up again for the US national team. Or so he believes enough to declare publicly.
Dempsey was recently a surprise omission from Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for the USMNT's upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, but does not think we have seen the last of him at the international level. The 32-year-old forward told radio show ESPN Soccer Today over the weekend that he gets why Klinsmann went with some younger options for this month's games, adding that he expects to return
"I felt good with my return this year with the national team," Dempsey said. "I think I played in 10 games, scored nine goals. I've enjoyed my time playing for the country. I still think that there's some more games to be played."
The Seattle Sounders veteran was the Americans' leading goal-scorer in the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, but dealt with number of injuries over the course of the year. Dempsey finished the MLS regular season with 10 goals and 10 assists, having played in just 20 matches.
"At the same time, it's the travel of playing with the USA [that] takes a toll on your body," said Dempsey. "That's kind of what caused me to start getting some injuries at the beginning of this year. Especially that trip to Switzerland [in March] where I got off the plane and trained and picked up that [hamstring] injury.
"That kind of started my injuries off for this year because the year before that I didn't have one. So I just got to be smart about how I keep my body in top form and make sure that if I get called on again that I'll be able to go represent."
Dempsey, who started and went the distance as Seattle was bounced out of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday vs. FC Dallas, has scored the second-most international goals in US history. He has netted 48 times, only nine fewer than Landon Donovan's country-leading 57.
The US officially begin their road the 2018 World Cup in Russia with their first two World Cup Qualifiers in the coming days, first taking on St Vincent & The Grenadines at home (Busch Stadium in St. Louis) on Friday before visiting Trinidad & Tobago four days later.