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Clint Dempsey returns to short-handed Sounders lineup vs. Crew

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Dempsey is back in the Seattle Sounders starting lineup after getting a week off to rest an injury, but Sigi Schmid is still rolling out a depleted group for Saturday's match against the Columbus Crew. In addition to the expected absences of Brad Evans (suspension) and Andreas Ivanschitz (illness), Erik Friberg and Nelson Haedo Valdez were also left out of the starting lineup.

Instead, the Sounders will be going with a front line that lists Herculez Gomez as the center forward, Jordan Morris on the left wing and Aaron Kovar on the right. Dempsey returns to the central midfield and will be flanked by Cristian Roldan and Osvaldo Alonso.

Although Morris is listed as a left-sided player, chances are that he'll be doing a lot of switching with Gomez similar to last week.

Valdez and Friberg are on the bench, though, and could play significant roles. They'll be joined by Dylan Remick, Tony Alfaro, Oalex Anderson, Oniel Fisher and Tyler Miller.

They'll be countered by what is pretty close to an ideal XI for the Crew:

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