While Brian McBride's long-term injury is a huge blow to Fulham, it may provide an unexpected benefit to the US national team. Dempsey has been drafted in to provide cover at target man, and assuming he can keep on-loan Shefki Kuqi off the field, that could provide valuable seasoning up top for the former Revolution star. Seasoning that could reap huge rewards for a US side currently looking out of sorts when it comes to striking options.
Bradley has been experimenting with Dempsey playing as a target up top for the US in the absence of Ching. Until yesterday, that conversion was looking a bit of a bust, but Dempsey scored in his second game running and then provided two assists to help Fulham snatch an unlikely draw against Fulham. The goal seemed to give him a huge burst of confidence and suddenly he started to look like his old self again, not the tentative impostor that's replaced him for the Cottagers.
Personally, I like Clint better when he's facing goal, but if he can transition to playing with his back to goal as well - and he does have the skill set to do so (witness some of his lovely controlling touches yesterday) - that versatility would be a big benefit to the US as qualification for South Africa 2010 gets under way.