The U.S. men’s national team will continue to have a heavy Sounders FC influence when World Cup qualifying resumes next week.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, as expected, called in the Seattle trio of Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans on Thursday for games Sept. 6 at Costa Rica and Sept. 10 versus Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.
The trio will report after the Sounders’ game Saturday at Columbus, and they’ll miss home games against Chivas USA (Wednesday) and Chicago (Sept. 7). It is also unsure whether they’ll be rested enough to start Sept. 13 against Real Salt Lake.
Though the involvement of Dempsey, Johnson and Evans could affect Seattle’s MLS playoff chase, the call-ups came as little surprise.
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Dempsey, the national team’s captain, will make his 100th international appearance in his next game, becoming the 14th player in U.S. history to reach that milestone.
This will mark Dempsey’s first call-up since June for the last round of qualifying.
“It will still take him a while to still settle in, pick up his rhythm and have that understanding with those players he needs to have to deliver the goals,” Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer’s website. “But saying all that, his 100th cap is very special.”
Johnson has played 13 international games this season, most within U.S. Soccer, and has scored in three of his last four. He has 11 career goals in qualifying, ranked third within the federation.
Evans has established himself as the team’s starting right back this year and also has had a memorable run in qualifying, scoring a dramatic winner in Jamaica almost three months ago.
• Coach Sigi Schmid said the Sounders will take it slow with the return of Obafemi Martins, who is recovering from an ankle sprain, to ensure that he’s available when fellow forwards Johnson and Dempsey are gone.
“When we’re missing those other guys,” Schmid said, “having Obafemi is going to be extremely important for us.”