The U.S. national team has friendlies in the next week at Scotland (Friday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Unimas) and at Austria (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Unimas). But one national team topic on people’s minds is what three MLS-based U.S. stars might be doing in the early months of 2014.
Three weeks ago U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann named Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Graham Zusi as three U.S. players he wanted to see go on loan to European clubs between January and March ahead of the World Cup. If U.S.-based MLS players don’t go on loan, Klinsmann says, their appearance at the January U.S. camp will be mandatory.
Right now it appears that of those three players only Dempsey is likely to go on loan. Dempsey’s contract with Seattle allows him to go on loan at least once during the length of the deal. We could find out later this week where Dempsey’s temporary destination might be.
Meanwhile, Donovan told reporters this week that he plans on recovering from an ankle injury over the next six weeks and being with the L.A. Galaxy once camp starts in January, though Klinsmann would likely want him in the U.S. camp in January. The Galaxy have not had any discussions with other clubs about a potential loan deal involving Donovan.
As for Zusi, I’m told that Kansas City has had no discussions about potential loans with anyone, so I would expect him to be in the January U.S. camp as well. The January U.S. camp will be split between Los Angeles and São Paulo, with at least one friendly on U.S. soil. The Brazilian part of the trip is not set to include any friendlies but will serve as a way to test out facilities the U.S. plans to use during the World Cup next summer.