Fresh off beating their biggest rivals in the U.S. Open Cup, the Seattle Sounders are now set to get some rather significant reinforcements. Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins -- neither of whom have played for the Sounders since mid-June -- were both able to train and appear set to make their returns in Sunday's Cascadia Cup clash with the Portland Timbers.
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid would not commit to how much time he thought either Designated Player was capable of contributing, but he did say he expected both to play a role. Dempsey and Martins have combined for 16 goals and nine assists this season.
Dempsey, in particular, was able to train with the Sounders for the first time since leaving the club for the World Cup following the May 11 match against the New England Revolution.
"His understanding was good," Schmid said. "He trained with Oba today and their understanding was like they'd never been apart."
The Sounders managed pretty well even without Dempsey. In the six MLS matches he missed, the Sounders went 4-1-1. They also went undefeated in three U.S. Open Cup games to qualify for the semifinals for the seventh time in eight years.
After expressing admiration for how the Sounders played without him, Dempsey seemed excited to help contribute.
"I think i'm still in good shape," he told reporters. "I was able to come out today and get some good touches. It feels good to be back. I feel I'll be ready to go.
"It's up to the coaching stuff, but yes I'm back and I want to play. Hopefully I get to play a part."