PORTLAND, Ore. — As if losing three straight games wasn't bad enough, the Seattle Sounders may also be without another star player after Clint Dempsey suffered what the team announced was a left shoulder sprain after he dislocated it early in the first half of a 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Although Dempsey was able to log 77 minutes, most of them were played after he dislocated the shoulder on a hard tackle from Diego Chará in the 19th minute. At one point, the US national team captain left the field to get treatment and then spent the remainder of the match visibly favoring his left shoulder.
"He tried to play on, play through it and Chará commits four fouls in the first half and never gets carded," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters. "I think that's a key turning point in the game.
"You look at the times Dempsey got fouled, that crap has got to stop. The referee has to protect him and they don't. It doesn't matter if a foul is early in the game or late in the game.”
Prior to Dempsey's injury, the Sounders had been the better team. And even right after the injury, Dempsey slammed a header off the underside of the crossbar from an Adam Moffat pass in the 14th minute (see video above).
“He was trying his best,” Schmid said. “But with his shoulder, he couldn't go into challenges and tackles. He couldn't run normally.”
This is just Dempsey’s latest setback since joining the Sounders. Between call-ups to the national team and battling a hamstring injury, he made just four starts and played 471 minutes. He has yet to score a goal or register an assist.