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Seattle-Portland update, 24 hours ahead of biggest MLS match this year

Aug 24, 2013, 8:12 PM EDT

Clint Dempsey didn't exactly flourish for Seattle, but he certainly made a big splash with his ballyhooed move from the Premier League back into MLS. Clint Dempsey didn't exactly flourish for Seattle, but he certainly made a big splash with his ballyhooed move from the Premier League back into MLS.

The Seattle Times’ Joshua Mayers reports that Sounders striker Obafemi Martins will be a game-time decision ahead of Sunday’s biggie against Portland. That means a couple of things:

We still don’t know if all three Seattle Sounders’ Designated Players will appear on the field together for the first time. Clint Dempsey has played twice so far for his new MLS club, once off the bench and then in last week’s start against Houston, but Martins was injured for both appearances. Plus, Eddie Johnson was out for last week’s loss in Texas.

That’s also going to make things difficult to Seattle manager Sigi Schmid to scheme up Dempsey’s best use for the man’s initial, ballyhooed run-out at CenturyLink Field. His “best use” is presumably the same spot Dempsey holds for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team, in the “hole” behind one striker or two of them, operating in a bit of a free role.

It’s not the best situation to be in, as time is growing short to find the best roles for several players, all of which now revolve around Dempsey and getting their $6 million man into the optimum role. Schmid would surely like to get his best 11 on the field to begin answering questions: What does that mean for figures like Brad Evans and Mauro Rosales, who can play different positions? For that matter, what does is mean for Martins and Johnson?

But let’s not allow any of that to detract from the drama and the pure joy of the moment; tomorrow’s match at a sold out CenturyLink Field (the “big” sell-out, not just the usual, somewhat fabricated “little” sellout).

(MORE: Match preview, Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers)

  1. footballer4ever - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    The PTFC vs SSFC football matches enhances and enriches the league and tge sport from the high tempo crowd environment to the football on the field. MLS’ other football clubs fans should duplicate or surpass with their own support. That is where the league steives to be where passionate environment can be seen/felt on the stands at any given football MLS match!

  2. hildezero - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Tell that to Chivas fans…

  3. midtec2005 - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    I’ve been telling everyone who isn’t a soccer fan to give this game a shot. It should be amazing.

    Back to the topic, left midfield could be a great spot for him too…. That’s where he had most of his goals for Fulham. It only works if the LB is good enough to provide some width though, because Clint likes to cut inside.

  4. talgrath - Aug 25, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    From the start, I’ve imagined that Dempsey will play as the forward midfielder, he usually likes to blast them in from range and he’ll take pressure off both Martins and Johnson to open them up for scoring while putting some in himself. Evans would slot over to the left, Martins over on the right (his preferred location), serving balls in to the forwards and Dempsey, essentially making it a 4-1-2-1-2 (which could be called a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, honestly the numbering system is vaguely silly in soccer, no two 4-4-2’s are alike).

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