Sounders hope returning stars can prove to be the difference

Seattle Sounders were depleted due to injuries as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw against ten-man FC Dallas last weekend. Players were away on international duty or out injured and so head coach Sigi Schmid had to field a number of reserve players and youngsters.

Their makeshift team put in a solid display against Dallas but will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening.

Sounders were without key players, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall, who were all absent through injury, but they are all in line to return this weekend.

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Marco Pappa also missed out as he featured for national side Guatemala, and he will also be available for selection for the weekend’s clash with Houston.

Clint Dempsey has declared himself fit for the game despite withdrawing from the US Men’s National Team squad with a hamstring problem, as reported by MLSsoccer.com.

“I feel good, I was able to get some good training sessions in this week. I’ve been back in full training for a few days now, and I’m looking forward to the weekend, I’ll be wanting to start.”

The other member of Sounders’ deadly strike force, Obafemi Martins, tweaked his quad in the clubs’ friendly against Club Tijuana but he has said he is feeling good ahead of the game.

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“I’m good. A lot better now. It was good for me to rest it because I was feeling a lot of pain. Now, I’m ready to go.”

Sounders will welcome the return of their key men but it is worrying how much quality they lacked without their stars last time out.

The 2014 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners haven’t won since the opening weekend and will see Saturday’s game with Houston as a great opportunity to get three points on the board.

Will the Seattle Sounders return to winning ways after welcoming back their stars?

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Seattle Sounders head coach Schmid hails “sublime” Martins and Dempsey

Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid has talked up the ability of strike partners Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey following their 6-0 preseason win over FC Tucson on Wednesday.

Dempsey bagged himself two goals in an emphatic performance, and although fellow forward Martins wasn’t on the scoresheet, he did play a hand in the first two goals, which has pleased Schmid.

“Some of the combinations, the goal where they combined on the 2nd goal, as a coach you just sit there and what do you say?” Schmid said while talking to the Seattle Sounders YouTube channel.

“I can’t teach that, we can’t diagram that and show them that. That’s just their instincts. And their ability to play off of each other is just so sublime.”

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The lethal partnership contributed an astonishing 55 goals between them via goals scored and goals assisted in the 2014 regular season and it looks as though they mean business again in 2015.

“I was happy for Clint, happy for the goals that he got because as a goalscorer you always want to get your confidence there. Oba (Martins) will be back on the board as well sometime soon,” Schmid added.

Lamar Neagle and Kevin Parsemain also both helped themselves to two goals each on the night.

How important will Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins be for Seattle Sounders in 2015?

Clint Dempsey says Seattle Sounders are “feeling good” ahead of LA Galaxy clash

Following their Western Conference playoff semi-final victory over FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey has been looking ahead to the conference final against LA Galaxy in a fortnight.

“We believe in ourselves – to win the Supporters’ Shield we had to play two games against them (LA Galaxy) and get the right result, so we’re a team that’s done well this season in terms of silverware.

“We have that confidence moving forward and we feel good,” he said to the Seattle Sounders YouTube channel.

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Despite the high level of confidence in the team, Dempsey is still cautious of the quality that the Galaxy possess.

“They’re a good team with a lot of quality – that’s the reason why they’re still in the playoffs.

“We have to figure out a way to manage these games in the right way because you don’t want to leave yourselves with a mountain to climb come the second game.

“To be the best you’ve got to play against the best and we’ve got to stay hungry for more.”

Dempsey’s partnership with Obafemi Martins has been inspirational to the Sounders this season and is one of the main reasons that they’re where they are.

“I love playing with Oba, he’s a world class player, we have a good chemistry, I think you can see that all year, we work well together and create chances for each other.”

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Although Dempsey has been left off the roster for the upcoming USMNT friendlies, he still “wishes them the best” and he’s had a “good conversation with Jurgen (Klinsmann) and looks forward to 2015”.

Every cloud has a silver lining though, as his omission from the squad for this international break should leave him feeling fresh and ready to fire on all cylinders in the next stage of the playoffs.

How crucial is Clint Dempsey to Seattle Sounders?