A somber mood hung over the Seattle Sounders (9-4-12, 31 points)
practice facility Friday morning once news of Clint Dempsey’s health concerns were made public. The All-Star forward and arguable one of the greatest soccer products of American Soccer, will immediately stop participating in any further soccer activities for Club and Country due to an irregular heartbeat that will require further testing.
“We have Clint’s best interest at heart first and foremost. He’s been calm in our conversations with him. ” Said Sounders general manager and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey said Friday after the teams practice session.” Anytime someone tells you something about your body then that’s an issue of some concern, but he’s been real mature and real professional about this.”
There is never a good time for life’s trial and tribulations. Unforeseen life changing events have no boundaries, no time table and no discrimination. The good news is that Dempsey will be treated by the best medical professionals and surrounded by loving family and friends who will help him with the recovery process once the testing and evaluation process is complete.
As for the Sounders, they will continue to prepare for their third Derby match with the Portland Timbers (8-8-10, 32 points ) Sunday ( 2 p.m. PST) afternoon in Portland.
“All of our thoughts go out to him and his health, he has a family so his health is number one, number two when I spoke to Clint yesterday on the phone, he was upbeat, positive, wants the team to do well on Sunday.” A somber Sounder interim head coach Brian Schmetzer said after the teams practice Friday afternoon.
As for facing the Timbers and continuing the teams unbeaten streak since he took over ( 3-0 2) , Schmetzer believes a solid and sound effort from every player will be required if the Sounders are to get a result.
“Chance reaction is going to be key for us, because we cannot bunker against a good Portland team for 90 minutes, we are going out and attack, we are going to try to score, I think Joevin Jones and Tyrone Mears have done a really good job of pushing the issue from the flanks.
It is going to take good team defense, creating chances, playing hard and playing firm are the ingredients that go into winning road games in this league.”
Sundays game will be the rubber match between the Cascadia Rivals with each team having won the home game with an identical score of 3-1. Seattle has played one fewer game and trail the Timbers who hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the conference by one point.