Dempsey left off U.S. roster following fight, suspension
NEW YORK -- Clint Dempsey was left off the U.S. roster for next week's exhibition game at Germany after the midfielder was suspended by the New England Revolution following a practice-field fight with a teammate.
The decision by coach Bruce Arena was because of the suspension announced Wednesday by the Major League Soccer team, U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman Jim Moorhouse said.
Dempsey, who fought with Revolution captain Joe Franchino, scored in the 1-0 win over Poland on March 1 and is trying to earn one of the last spots on the 23-man World Cup roster. He was suspended by the club through March 26.
Defender Cory Gibbs was among the 19 players selected for the March 22 game at Dortmund. He hasn't played for the national team since May 28, when he injured a knee in an exhibition game against England.
Because the game against Germany isn't on an international fixture date, the Americans won't have several of their Europe-based players available, including midfielders Claudio Reyna and DaMarcus Beasley, forward Brian McBride and defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Eddie Lewis.
German clubs were required to release their players for the game, so goalkeeper Kasey Keller and defenders Gregg Berhalter and Steve Cherundolo were selected. Reading, which has a large lead in the English League Championship, allowed Arena to pick goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and midfielder Bobby Convey.
"Although we will be playing with a less than full roster, this game will provide an outstanding opportunity for some of our players to show they deserve strong consideration for the World Cup roster," Arena said.
The Americans, who moved up to fifth, an all-time high, in Wednesday's FIFA world rankings, will be playing their last game in Europe before the World Cup. After meeting Germany, they have exhibition games against Jamaica (April 11 at Cary, N.C.), Morocco (May 23 at Nashville, Tenn.), Venezuela (May 26 at Cleveland) and Latvia (May 28 at East Hartford, Conn.).
Germany, ranked 22nd, is coming off a 4-1 loss to Italy. Bayern Munich midfielder Sebastian Deisler was dropped from the German roster Wednesday after hurting his right knee in practice and will go to the United States for arthroscopic surgery.
The U.S. team hasn't played Germany since losing 1-0 in the quarterfinals for the 2002 World Cup. At this year's World Cup, the United States plays the Czech Republic (June 12), Italy (June 17) and Ghana (June 22) in the first round.
The full roster:
Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, England), Kasey Keller
(Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany)
Defenders: Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City), Cory Gibbs (ADO Den Haag, Netherlands), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus), Heath Pearce (FC Nordsjaelland, Denmark), Eddie Pope (Salt Lake)
Midfielders: Bobby Convey (Reading, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Chris Klein (Salt Lake), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado), Ben Olsen (D.C.), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City)
Forwards: Brian Ching (Houston), Eddie Johnson (Kansas City), Taylor Twellman (New England), Josh Wolff (Kansas City)