Clint Dempsey has already rejoined the Seattle Sounders after being dismissed early from international duties and Chad Marshall was able to get through about "two-thirds" of Monday's training session, meaning both players could potentially make their returns as soon as Sunday against the Houston Dynamo.
"Clint's here, he went thorugh a regen today," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters on Monday. "He played 120 minutes on Saturday, so we didn't want him on the field. He'll be on the field tomorrow."
Marshall missed the Sounders' last game against the LA Galaxy after suffering a sprained neck. Although he was whisked away in a ambulance from that training session, the injury was apparently not as serious as originally feared.
"Chad is good," Schmid said. "We're starting him through the heading protocol to make sure there are no issues there."
Having Dempsey and Marshall back would be a potential boon for the Sounders, who can clinch a playoff spot this week, possibly even before they play a game. If Real Salt Lake loses on Wednesday to the Portland Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes lose on Friday to Sporting Kansas City, the Sounders can finish no worse than sixth in the West. A win against the Dynamo, though, would clinch a spot no matter what happens in other games.
"We control our own destiny," Schmid said. "As long as we take care of what we need to take care of we'll get to where we want to go. That's the best position to be in."