If a report from the German publication Kicker is to be believed, Clint Dempsey will captain the United States in the upcoming week of international friendlies. Because Dempsey is not traveling to Los Angeles for the team's friendly on September 2 against Costa Rica, process of elimination means that he will wear the armband when the Yanks take on Belgium in Brussels on September 6. If true, it will be the first time that a U.S. manager has handed the Texan armband before.
With Carlos Bocanegra aging and likely to be out of the team by the time the 2014 World Cup rolls around, along with Jurgen Klinsmann taking over as U.S. manager, a new captain has been expected. Most assumed that Landon Donovan, the all-time U.S. leading goalscorer would be handed the armband. Not only is he one of the top performers in team history, but he and Klinsmann have an outstanding relationship so it seemed like he would be the natural next captain.
In Dempsey, Klinsmann has the United States' most accomplished European club player ever. He helped Fulham to a Europa League final before and has almost every record for goals by an American in Europe. Donovan may be the team's all-time leading goalscorer, but Dempsey is no slouch and he has always played with a grit and fire (that some criticize as being a little over the line and sometimes dirty). He is also the most skillful player that the U.S. has. Maybe Klinsmann would like to see the team adopt that gritty, but skillful approach Dempsey has.
There is no mention of whether Dempsey will only wear the armband once or if this is a permanent move. It's also just a single report so it's hardly a done deal. Because Kicker is funded by Nike and Klinsmann being German, it would not be a surprise if the news of U.S. captain first broke in Germany and specifically Kicker, but it's hardly confirmed and set in stone.