Just hours before their much anticipated showdown with the LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders confirmed that Clint Dempsey did not travel with the team. Various reports indicated that Dempsey had picked up a hamstring injury, most likely at Friday's training session that was closed to media.
The injury certainly comes as a blow to the Sounders, who are hoping to end a six-match winless streak when facing the Galaxy on the road. The Sounders have been outscored 13-2 during those games, going 0-5-1, including a 4-0 loss earlier this year and a 3-0 loss in the first leg of the Western Conference finals last year.
Although they won't have Dempsey's services at their disposal, the Sounders should still be reasonably confident. They are riding a franchise-record five-match winning streak and have won 8 of 9 to move into the Supporters' Shield lead. Demspey has only started three of those nine matches and played in five of them.
The nationally broadcast match (7 p.m. on NBCSN) was being billed as the first MLS meeting between Dempsey and Landon Donovan since both became United States national team stars. Donovan's status for the match remains unknown after he suffered an ankle injury and coming out at halftime of the Galaxy's match a week ago.