USMNT Rumors: Lee Nguyen in, Clint Dempsey out for November Friendlies


The US Men’s National Team roster for their two November friendlies are expected to be released on Monday. These friendlies are during the international window, which MLS is taking a break for in November unlike in October, but the MLS Playoffs resume after the two-week window. Because of this, Jurgen Klinsmann may not call in MLS players on teams still competing for the MLS Cup.

Lee Nguyen

On Sunday, New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft said on local radio that Lee Nguyen is among the players named for the November friendlies. However, Nguyen was candid about the rumors after the Revolution’s win against Columbus. He neither confirmed , nor denied the rumor, but basically said we’d have to wait and see until Monday for it to be official.

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It would be wise for Klinsmann to call upon Nguyen’s service. He’s one of the worthwhile 2014 MLS MVP candidates and has stepped it up when it mattered for New England. His stellar play is the main reason why the Revolution made the playoffs and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Red Bulls.

This wouldn’t be his first USMNT call-up. He was apart of the team that faced China in a friendly on June 2, 2007 and the 2007 Copa America squad.

Nguyen is playing his best soccer in 2014. Additionally, these friendlies are a time for Klinsmann to assess new talent and players as they prepare for the 2015 Gold Cup and other action within the 2018 World Cup cycle.

Clint Dempsey

At the same time Nguyen could find himself apart of the USMNT November friendlies roster, Clint Dempsey could not be included according to Grant Wahl.

Dempsey’s exclusion from the friendlies roster makes sense. 2014 was filled with a lot of soccer between the Sounders and the US Men’s National Team for Dempsey.

From the 2014 World Cup to the 2014 US Open Cup to the regular season of MLS, Dempsey hasn’t missed many games. When he did miss a rare game for the Sounders, it was so he could appear various cable programming, including the David Letterman Show.

Dempsey needs some rest and relaxation. If Seattle defeats FC Dallas and advances to face the Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals, Dempsey needs to be well-rested not tired from a friendly that is meaningless for Dempsey to play in.

Dempsey’s spot on the USMNT roster is secure and not going anywhere. These friendlies are time to assess younger players and fringe players that weren’t apart of the squad during the 2014 World Cup.

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It is also a time for Klinsmann to begin to build team chemistry, while looking forward to future competition.

Winning the 2014 MLS Cup with Seattle and staying healthy is more important that playing in a friendly. There is more risk than reward for Dempsey and other MLS players still competing in the MLS Playoffs.

However, Nguyen’s inclusion would be worthwhile. He hasn’t been apart of the USMNT squad since 2007, and these two games against Republic of Ireland and Colombia are great opportunities to show Klinsmann what Nguyen can bring to the national team.

These two rumors aren’t far-fetched. Nguyen is a player that can use the national team experience and has deservedly earned the opportunity, while Dempsey is a player that needs the chance to put his feet up and rest after a jammed packed year’s worth of soccer action.