Coach: Clint Dempsey should leave

Updated: May 25, 2012, 9:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is encouraging Clint Dempsey to leave Fulham and sign with a bigger club.

The 29-year-old Texan scored 17 Premier League goals and 23 overall this season, the best season by an American attacking player in England.

Dempsey's contract with Fulham has one year remaining.

"His goal is the right goal," Klinsmann said during a conference call Friday, a day before the Americans play an exhibition against Scotland. "If he has the opportunity to go a Champions League team, that's the creme de la creme in the world of club soccer, then you've got to do that. With all respect obviously to Fulham, as he often mentions, but you want to play in the biggest club competition in the world and that's the European Champions League.

"So hopefully something will happen over the next couple weeks. But if it doesn't happen, then he just has to keep kind of pounding away and knocking at the door."

Dempsey was tied for fourth in the EPL in scoring, trailing only Arsenal's Robin van Persie (31), Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (27) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (23).

"The sky is the limit if you want to work for it, if you want to do it every day and if you want to be hungrier and nastier and stronger than your competitors. He embraced that approach, and that's why when he's now coming into the national team environment, he's one of the leaders," Klinsmann said. "Players look up to him, especially the young players. Now they look at Clint, they want to play where he's playing or they want to hear from him what it takes to become one of the best players in the English Premier League."

Dempsey will miss the United States' match against Scotland on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Fla. Dempsey is still recovering from a groin strain that caused him to miss the ninth-place Cottagers' season finale at Tottenham on May 19 and he might not be ready for Wednesday night's exhibition against Brazil in Landover, Md.

Dempsey and Landon Donovan have not played together since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as coach last July.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.