Stop me if you've heard this one before: The Seattle Sounders are holding out hope that their top attackers will all be healthy enough to play against FC Dallas on Saturday. Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins all trained on Wednesday, while the Sounders are planning to have Brad Evans meet them in Dallas on Thursday.
Of the three injured attackers, Johnson seemed to be the closest to returning. Johnson, who injured his hamstring while with the United States national team, participated in the most drills, but more than that he also spoke like a player who was planning to play a significant role.
"Physically i'm good, mentally and spiritually," Johnson said. "It's good to be back out on the field, running around, training with the boys and l'm looking forward to us trying to turn things around and get better as a team with a very important two games in the season."
Dempsey participated in the same drills, but seemed more limited. The good news is that X-Rays didn't reveal any breaks in his shoulder. The bad news is that he's still feeling a fair amount of pain and is almost certainly going to be dealing with that for the foreseeable future.
"It still hurts," Dempsey said. "There's some swelling and it's definitely uncomfortable. We're trying to tape it up and trying the brace and seeing if there's a way I can keep pushing through it and be available for the weekend."
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid expressed the most concern over Martins, who missed the game against the Portland Timbers with an ongoing groin injury.
"He didn't do as much today as we thought, but he did a lot in training on Monday," Schmid said.
While I'm not entirely optimistic about Evans being able to start four days after going 56 minutes in Panama, Schmid seemed to think it was at least a possibility.
At this point, I've learned not to get my hopes up too high about the Sounders' health. There still hasn't been a game this year in which all four of these players have started together and they've only been on the field together in the Real Salt Lake match. But even having two of these players capable of starting has to be seen as a positive development, considering a day ago I would have thought that having any of them capable of starting was a long shot.
So, fingers crossed. Maybe the Sounders' luck has changed.