Despite having to "manage" his way through the full 90 minutes at San Jose, Clint Dempsey could go another 90 away at Vancouver on Saturday. Dempsey initially practiced alone on Thursday, but was a full participant in the majority of activities, including small pitch five-a-sides during the latter half of the session. Sigi Schmid noted afterwards that Dempsey's fitness was moving along well and there's no doubts in his ability to explode on the pitch.
Other notables form Thursday's practice:
- Chad Marshall stayed inside for the duration of the session, and Sigi Schmid noted that the player was kept inside after receiving a cortisone shot to relieve tightness in his back.
- Brad Evans said on Tuesday that he felt pretty good despite being substituted against San Jose with a possible head injury. Schmid noted after training that Evans was cleared for training today and will be available to face Vancouver if he passes the final heading protocol. It's worth mentioning that Evans strapped in and walked around the halo of the Space Needle on Wednesday in support of Base to Space, a charity benefitting Fred Hutch's cancer research.
- Nelson Valdez trained for the first time this week today after suffering a knock against San Jose, what Schmid referred to as a contusion in the shin/ankle region. Valdez has had a couple injuries in that same area, causing a little bit of concern, but Schmid noted that the player is feeling better today and has been working hard on his own to be match fit for the weekend.
- Andreas Ivanschitz had a terrific Sounders debut at San Jose after coming on as a substitute for Brad Evans at halftime, and Sigi Schmid hinted that the Austrian could start against Vancouver and go 60 or 70 minutes in the final Cascadia Cup match of the season.