Deuce the supersub? Clint Dempsey is cool with it, if that's what it takes to get him to a fourth FIFA World Cup with the US national team.
“Yeah, I could do that,” Dempsey said Thursday on Colin Cowherd's FS1 show, "The Herd." “It would be tough, but at the same time you have to look at it in the right way.”
The veteran Seattle Sounders forward, who has 131 caps for the US and needs just five more goals to tie Landon Donovan's career record of 57, is still an impact player. The gritty Texan showed that during last month's Copa America Centenario tournament, when he led the Yanks with three goals in five matches en route to a fourth-place finish.
That said, Dempsey will be 35 when the first ball rolls out for Russia 2018 – and age is an opponent that can't be shouldered off forever.
“You have to say, 'All right, if I do play, am I fit enough that I can go 90 minutes nonstop?'” he said on Cowherd's show. “Or is it, 'Do I put in a 60-minute shift, 70-minute shift and get subbed? Or do you come on maybe later in the game when everybody's tired and try to get goals?'
“So being a goalscorer, that does appeal to me, that I could come on in a game and change it. I would be open to it.”
Dempsey is no stranger to contributing in tournament situations, where he has scored the majority of his international goals.
He has four goals in World Cup play, three in the United States' surprising run to the finals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and 14 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. In 2015, he was the Golden Boot winner with seven goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“It's an honor to represent your country, and I've been able to do that 129, 130 times and been able to play in three different World Cups,” Dempsey said. “That would be nice to be able to say that you were in a fourth. Not a lot of people can say that.”