Ongoing injury concerns for Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins still unresolved for Seattle Sounders
TUKWILA, Wash. — Seattle Sounders Designated Players Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins both were full participants in Monday’s training session, but their availability for this week’s Cascadia Cup games remains in doubt.
Neither of the two traveled for Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids due to injuries, an ongoing concern for a team that’s scored multiple goals just twice in the last two months.
Dempsey has only made one 29-minute appearance in the Sounders’ last six matches, with a hamstring injury being the latest culprit. The lack of progress apparently convinced US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to leave Dempsey off the roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Seattle boss Sigi Schmid said he was hopeful Dempsey could play as soon as Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET; MLS Live) and called his situation game-by-game.
“Obviously Clint is still recovering from his injury,” Schmid told reporters on Monday. “Jurgen understood that and we spoke as well. We felt that it’s a good chance for him fitness-wise to make up some things, to make sure his hamstring gets 100 percent ready.
“We want him ready for the playoffs. Jurgen as well wants him ready for their final things and the World Cup and everything else. It’s a win-win for both sides.”
If Dempsey proves fit, Schmid acknowledged there’s still a chance that Klinsmann could choose to call in his captain for the final qualifying match in Panama on Oct. 15. Possibly playing into the decision is FIFA’s announcement last week that the top seven teams in the rankings will be seeded next summer in Brazil.
The USMNT would still have to jump several spots, which remains unlikely but possible.
Martins, meanwhile, had played in the Sounders’ previous four matches, but has been battling various injuries virtually ever since joining the team. Early last week, he received a cortisone shot in his pubic symphysis (a joint in the groin) and ended up being a late scratch from the trip to Colorado.
“The rest of the weekend has helped settle that down,” Schmid said. “[Martins] said he felt pretty good. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow after the training today and hopefully he’ll be able to go on Wednesday.”