Clint Dempsey is back up to full speed from his groin injury and participated in full training on Friday. The United States captain is now locked in to play against Turkey on Sunday, the team's second of three Send-Off Series matches before the World Cup.
Jurgen Klinsmann said Dempsey was still limited in training on Thursday, but that he was close to 100 percent and would play on Sunday. Still, close to full health is not full health and Dempsey had not yet taken part in full training. Now that he is all the way back and has made it through training,
Dempsey injured his groin in warm-ups before the Americans' 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Tuesday. He was supposed to start and looked fine to begin warm-ups, but exited just before the team and was scratched with what was called "groin soreness." U.S. Soccer insisted his scratch was solely precautionary and his quick return to full speed indicates that was indeed the case.
The U.S. needs to have Dempsey back against Turkey after the way their attack struggled against Azerbaijan. Michael Bradley was left to do too much of the creative work for the Americans and was often overwhelmed. While Dempsey will still be a striker in Klinsmann's setup with a pseudo diamond midfield, he will drop deeper than Chris Wondolowski did and give Bradley more help. As the U.S. adjusts to their new-ish way of play, getting as many reps as possible is important, and those reps need to be with Dempsey.