It’s looking unlikely that Clint Dempsey will be ready to travel this weekend to face the LA Galaxy, despite his return to Sounders training last week. Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey commented when Dempsey returned last week that the player was only cleared by medical staff to train and exercise, not to play in matches. That status has not changed as of Tuesday, when Dempsey was not at the club’s training session.
Head coach Brian Schmetzer said he couldn’t comment on Dempsey’s status, only that “he’s in town, but not here.” Dempsey had participated in a number of sessions last week, drawing praise from Schmetzer, who said the player’s return boosted the squad’s spirits on the training pitch. He also didn’t train with the majority of the squad on Monday, though Schmetzer said Dempsey was doing regeneration work indoors that day.
When Dempsey returned to training last week, Lagerwey stressed the player’s health was the first priority, and he reiterated those sentiments in comments to supporters after Saturday’s match against Vancouver. “It doesn’t matter when he comes back as a soccer player. It matters whether he’s OK for life.”