Regular Season

Sounders to adapt without Dempsey in next two MLS matches following suspension

Clint Dempsey

Sounders FC vs. Montreal Impact

MLS Regular Season
Sunday, March 23; 1 pm PT; Olympic Stadium in Montreal
TV/Radio: JOEtv (local); ROOT Sports (Regionally); KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

After two matches, Sounders FC has had significant contributions from U.S. National Team captain Clint Dempsey.  The Seattle forward has a hand in both of Seattle’s goals thus far, scoring one goal and assisting on the other.  However, Sigi Schmid and the Sounders will have to find a way to cope without him for the next two matches as Dempsey has been suspended two matches by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for what was deemed violent conduct.

“Obviously we’re going to miss him.  He’s an important part of our team and I think our fans can see how much he helped us in terms of possession last week,” Schmid said.  “It is what it is so we have to deal with it.  It just means it’s an opportunity for somebody else.”

Just who will be getting that opportunity won’t be known until lineups are announced on Sunday with the rescheduled start because of a weather delay postponing the match for 24 hours.

The team has plenty of options that didn’t start in last week’s 2-1 loss to Toronto FC like Kenny Cooper, Gonzalo Pineda, Chad Barrett and Sean Okoli, among others.  It may also see a tactical shift, depending on which player Schmid places in the starting lineup.

“We’re looking at different options at this stage.  We could come with three midfielders being on the road and just play three up front or we might stay in the 4-2-3-1,” Schmid said.  “Whoever you put in there, every player is a little bit different so they are going to bring different qualities to the game.”

When Dempsey arrived late in the week ahead of the MLS regular season opener against Sporting Kansas City, Schmid started a lineup that included Cooper and Obafemi Martins at forward with a midfield of Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle and Marco Pappa.  With Evans working back from a calf injury, his availability for Sunday’s match won’t be determined until after training on Saturday.

Seattle played the entire preseason without Dempsey as he was away on loan with Fulham in the Premier League.  In those preseason matches, Seattle went 6-0-3.

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