No rest period for MLS athletes in World Cup
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 03:10
With the World Cup only seven months away, and only a little over a month left in the Major League Soccer season, United States’ men’s national soccer team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t want any rest period for his star MLS athletes: Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Graham Zusi.
Klinsmann has made it clear that he wants the players overseas in Europe during the MLS offseason.
“Our priorities are set so that the first one is if you get a chance to go on loan to Europe, do it," Klinsmann said.
Dempsey would be looking to return to Europe after being traded to Seattle in early August from Tottenham, scoring seven goals for the English squad.
Tottenham, Everton and Fulham are all equally interested in bringing Dempsey on loan.
Donovan hasn’t made a loan appearance in Europe since his time with Everton in 2011-2012 that concluded in nine appearances and no goals for the man who leads USMNT in goals and appearances.
The freshest face to the USMNT, Zusi, has yet to play for a team outside of the United States but he did catch the eye of English Premier’s West Ham United. Zusi practiced with the team in January.
If the players yet to find a European team to play for, Klinsmann will have them train in a mandatory camp for the USMNT in January to prepare for the final cut roster that he’ll take to Brazil.
“We expect everybody comes in,” Klinsmann said. “We’ll try to bring in some younger players [and] have a look at them as well, because we want to get a roster together of 20-23 guys that are highly motivated and inspired to go into the World Cup year. It will be exciting.”
USMNT finished on top of the CONACAF World Cup qualifying group in October. The team is currently ranked at 13th by FIFA.