Bradley Named USMNT Captain For Gold Cup

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Michael Bradley (left) and Clint Dempsey

There will be a new Captain American for this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup competition.

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced on July 2 that Michael Bradley of Toronto FC would serve as the team captain. He replaces Clint Dempsey of Seattle Sounders.

The change in captaincy for the U.S. side comes just weeks after Dempsey was suspended for three games by Major League Soccer following a U.S. Cup contest vs. Portland Timbers. In that match, Dempsey was given a red card for dissent after the grabbed and tore the referees notebooks.

It was not clear if Dempsey’s behavior in the U.S. Cup match played a role in Klinsmann’s decision.

“It’s important to have Clint be in his best condition for us,” Klinsmann told ESPNFC. “Clint is exceptional, an absolutely exceptional player. He’s proven that year in and year out. We need him on board. We need him in a good mood. We need him to be enthusiastic about the next couple of weeks. And we need him to score.”

Bradley said being named captain was a “huge honor” and a “big responsibility” and one that he was very excited about.

Klinsmann did not say if the move is one that would become permanent.