Clint Dempsey might not be fit enough to play for the US national team this week, but the Seattle Sounders appear willing to give their star player a try with the team's Supporters' Shield hopes on the line.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid announced Tuesday that both Dempsey and fellow forward Obafemi Martins are fit to at least play a role in Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET, MLS Live), potentially putting the two on the field together for the first time in nearly a month.
Neither Martins (groin) nor Dempsey (hamstring) traveled for Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids, and Dempsey was left off the US national team's roster for Friday's penultimate World Cup qualifier against Jamaica in Kansas City.
Dempsey has not played for the Sounders since coming off the bench for a 29-minute performance against Real Salt Lake on Sept. 13, the only occassion when he and Martins have been on the field at the same time this season.
“Djimi [Traore] came through yesterday all right and trained today, so I think he’s available for tomorrow,” Schmid said. “[Martins], same thing: he came through and he’s available for us. Clint will be in the 18 for us, as well.”
If Dempsey proves fit, there’s still a chance Klinsmann could call up his captain for the Oct. 15 game in Panama. That would almost certainly mean Dempsey would miss Sunday’s Sounders match against the Portland Timbers.
“For Clint, it is really important to pick up the rhythm, to get back into shape and play games,” US coach Jurgen Klinsmann told USsoccer.com on Sunday. “He needs to train very intensely and get as many sessions as possible. He had injury problems, the transfer was done late and he didn’t have a proper preseason, and he’s running behind. So he has to do some catching up and he will eventually get it done.”