Juergen Klinsmann has highlighted Clint Dempsey's importance to the USA national team.
The Tottenham attacking midfielder continues to score vital goals for his country, netting seven times in his past nine World Cup qualifiers, and is set to again be a central part of proceedings as he continues his captain's role for three upcoming hexagonal group stage fixtures against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras in June.
"Clint's role is very crucial to our group," Klinsmann said.
"The qualities he has automatically give him so much respect from everybody around him because he's an outstanding player, and he's a player that can play on the top level week in and week out.
"Those (match-winning goals) are things that you now expect from Clint to bring in, and we are thrilled how he took that in his first two games as a captain against Costa Rica and Mexico.
"He led by example. We are curious to see how this continues, but I think he took it really well and we are excited about how things will go with him going forward."