DENVER -- DaMarcus Beasley says the United States team will be just fine despite their surprising fourth-place finish at the 2015 Gold Cup, and the veteran of four World Cups added he was still ready if called upon for national team duty.
Beasley said the U.S. squad is on the right path, even if the team suffered a setback during the Gold Cup after beating the Netherlands and Germany in exhibitions last month.
CHESTER, Pa. -- In the previous five editions of the Russia Board (see links for each below), Clint Dempsey's name has been nowhere to be found, and for good reason: While nobody doubts the 32-year-old now-former U.S. captain's ability or single-minded desire to score goals, he'll be 35 by the time the 2018 World Cup rolls around.
Sure, players like Germany's Miroslav Klose -- a guy who U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann happens to know well -- have been productive at the highest level at that age. Realistically, though, it was always hard to see Dempsey making it that far. Time catches up to most strikers, even great ones, long before then.
But now, who knows? Dempsey was easily the best American player during the national team's disappointing Gold Cup run this month. Not only did he lead the tournament in scoring with seven goals, he accounted for more than half of the U.S. squad's production all by himself. And given the fact that no other member of Klinsmann's side looks even remotely capable of filling his shoes, it's time to assume that Dempsey will still have a role to play three summers from now in Russia. That's not to say it will happen though. Three years might as well be an eternity in soccer; just 21 months ago, MLS coaches unanimously said if they had the opportunity, they'd take Landon Donovan on their teams over Deuce. Less than two years later, Donovan is retired, while Dempsey, through sheer force of will, is playing as well as ever.
The Texan has something else going for him, too: because he played three seasons of college soccer before moving to MLS at 20, his legs have significantly fewer games on them than his peers who turned pro in their teens. Given all that, it would be foolish to count Dempsey out just yet.
Here's our latest projection of the U.S. starting lineup and roster for the 2018 World Cup, including scouting notes, analysis and a confidence ranking for each starter. (Ages and experience as of July 27.)
PHILADELPHIA -- Mexico lifted the Gold Cup on Sunday after defeating Jamaica 3-1 at Lincoln Financial Field, but coach Miguel Herrera was quick to turn attention ahead to the playoff in October against the United States for a place in the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017.
"In October there is a very important game [against the United States]," said Herrera in his postgame news conference, stressing the United States is a strong team. "We can't get carried away.