In a shocking announcement, United States men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said team captain Clint Dempsey isn't guaranteed a spot on next summer's World Cup 2014 roster.
SportsCenter's official Twitter account shared the news:
It's almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which Dempsey, who has scored 12 goals for the Americans since the start of 2012, is left off the U.S. roster next summer. Therefore, it's difficult to take Klinsmann seriously.
We're talking about a superstar talent who has appeared in over 100 matches for the Stars and Stripes over the past decade, scoring three dozen goals over that time.
Klinsmann's statement is likely more or less an attempt to keep his players on edge ahead of their final World Cup qualifying match against Panama on Tuesday. Plus, by confirming that no one's spot is safe, the former German striker can expect to see maximum effort from those fringe players who may have not felt they had a shot to make the World Cup roster otherwise.
Dempsey will miss Tuesday's match against Panama because of injury.
The 30-year-old Dempsey, who made the move from Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League to the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer earlier this year, has been an absolute stud for the USMNT since making his debut in 2004. Dempsey was the only American player to score at World Cup 2006 in Germany and scored their only goal against England at World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
Only Landon Donovan has scored more goals for the USMNT than Dempsey, who has worn the captain band for the U.S. under Klinsmann this year.
The U.S. earned its seventh straight World Cup berth last month with a win over Mexico.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.