Clint Dempsey 0224

Sounders set for next test in Desert Diamond Cup against New England Revolution

Preparing to face the same team multiple times is nothing new for Sounders FC. In the final months of 2014, Seattle played four matches against the LA Galaxy in a 43-day span as the two clubs battled for the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference Championship.

Wednesday night, the Rave Green will clash with defending Eastern Conference champion New England Revolution in their third game of the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup. The friendly comes just 11 days before the regular-season opener for both clubs: Seattle hosting the Revs on March 8 at CenturyLink Field.

The first of the two matchups is set for 5:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona. According to Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid, this one won’t end up having much of an effect on the season opener.

“Everything changes by the time we play our first game,” Schmid said. “Everybody right now is mixing and matching a little bit. Different groups end up playing.

“We still have decisions to make and guys still trying to make the team as well. So Wednesday becomes a big game, because a lot of those guys are going to get good, strong minutes to make their case. And it’s just a matter of continuing developing our rhythm of play and being confident in what we do.”

For the Revolution, Designated Player and U.S. National Team defender Jermaine Jones will be out of the lineup on Wednesday as he is recovering from sports hernia surgery.

Two of the Sounders’ biggest stars, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will both be available for the friendly after Martins sat out against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday as a precautionary. In their first match of the year playing next to each other, the two forwards had numerous combination plays in the opening 15 minutes that led to scoring chances against FC Tucson.

Dempsey finished with two goals that game, while Martins had a pair of assists.

“Certainly on some of the combinations…where they combined on the second goal – I mean, as a coach you just sit there and say, ‘What do you say? We can’t teach that. We can’t diagram that.’ That’s just their instincts,” Schmid said. “Their ability to play off each other is just so sublime.

“I was happy for Clint and happy for the goals he got because as a goal-scorer, you always want to get your confidence up. Oba will be back on the board as well for us.”

SoundersFC.com will have a live stream of Wednesday night’s match as well as full live coverage on Twitter with @LIVESounders.

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