Seattle Sounders forward and designated player Clint Dempsey was contained to the point of non-entity Saturday in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 3-2 loss to Mexico at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Brad Evans, the other Sounder called up to USMNT, was subbed in late in extra time before a crowd of 93,723.
Named to the starting lineup, Dempsey was let down by poor service from the wings, and seemed to drag as the match went on. The striker has been hampered by a hamstring injury since the late stages of summer. Despite significant contributions in possession and buildup play, Dempsey was unable to factor decisively as an attacking threat and finished without a shot on goal.
Mexico broke a 1-1 deadlock in the 96th minute. A long through ball found Paul Aguilar racing up the right alley, where a leaping flick served the ball up perfectly for a powerful finish by Oribe Peralta.
Former Sounder DeAndre Yedlin provided valuable minutes as a substitute, including the game-tying assist in the 108th minute as he played through to Bobby Wood before Wood’s composed finish through the legs of keeper Moisés Muñoz to knot at 2.
Just as things seemed to be heading for penalties, Mexico landed the decisive blow in the 118th minute, as Aguilar smashed a volley into the left side of the net to earn Mexico CONCACAF’s slot in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Dempsey and Evans will return to team training Monday ahead of Seattle’s MLS road clash against the Houston Dynamo Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. PT.
The calls for Klinsmann’s head just got louder.