Clint Dempsey is back.


For the first time in nearly six months, the Seattle Sounders striker will take the field when he starts for head coach Brian Schmetzer in a Desert Diamond friendly against the Portland Timbers in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday (5:30 p.m. PT; SoundersFC.com, Facebook.com/SoundersFC)


Dempsey, 33, has been sidelined since late last August while recovering from an irregular heartbeat, and the Sounders eventually ruled him out for the remainder of the season in September. He scored eight goals in 17 games in 2016.


The United States’ second all-time leading scorer was medically cleared to play heading into preseason and has been in full training with the club. On Thursday, Schmetzer said “it’s yet to be decided” whether Dempsey would play in Tucson.


Here is the Sounders’ first-half lineup and formation against the Timbers (Note: There will be a second-half lineup released at halftime):


FIRST HALF LINEUP (FORMATION: 4-2-3-1)

GK: Miller (1)


RB: Oduro (40)


CB: Agbossoumonde (59)


CB: Alfaro (15)


LB: Jones (33)


CM: Svensson (4)


CM: Roldan (7)


RM: Lodeiro (10)


AM: Dempsey (2)


LM: Fernandez (8)


FW: Bruin (17)


NOTES:


- Four players make their Sounders debuts in the first half on Saturday. Preseason guest player Gale Agbossoumonde and 2017 MLS SuperDraft selection Dominic Oduro are each currently unsigned and will start on defense, while offseason acquisitions Gustav Svensson (midfield) and Will Bruin (forward) earn the first-half nod as well.


- Tyler Miller starts in net while Stefan Frei recovers from a sprained right ankle he suffered while at the United States’ national team’s January camp. Frei said on Thursday that his recovery is “ahead of schedule.”


- Forward Jordan Morris and defenders Chad Marshall and Brad Evans were released from the U.S. national team on Saturday after their 1-0 friendly win over Jamaica on Friday. All three are not expected to join the team in Tucson.

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