By now, you're all quite aware that the Seattle Sounders are going to be short-handed for Saturday's game against Sporting Kansas City. Osvaldo Alonso (suspension) and Brad Evans (international duty) are definitely out; Gonzalo Pineda (ankle) and Obafemi Martins (nose) are, at best, questionable; and Clint Dempsey, well, it's hard to say.
Dempsey's wife is expecting to give birth to the couple's fourth child soon. That's why he's not with the USMNT for their European friendlies. That's why he missed Thursday's training session. But even if Bethany Dempsey gives birth in the next day or two, that might not be enough wiggle room to give a modern father like Clint time to join his teammates.
"It's just a day-to-day thing," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told the media, while also noting Chad Barrett is also questionable after suffering a hamstring injury. "A lot of you guys are married: wives, kids, you know how that works. You know, 30 years ago, people were: ‘Oh yeah, I had a son, great, thanks.' Nowadays it's a different expectation. We're a supportive club, and we're supportive of him in his current situation, and we understand that."
While that's not necessarily good news for the Sounders' chances against KC, it is a positive sign for anyone who believes in a progressive work place that respects paternity leave. If Dempsey has to miss a match in order to get to know his new child a bit better, help mind the trio of kids he already has or simply be there to support his wife, that's a pretty good excuse in our book.