Sounders forward Clint Dempsey is expected to stay with the U.S. national team through the weekend, fellow DP Nelson Valdez has fully recovered from his lingering calf injury and midfielders Michael Farfan and Nathan Sturgis both practiced on Wednesday.
Sounders forward Clint Dempsey is expected to remain with the U.S. men’s national team through Saturday’s Copa America Centenario third-place game — meaning he’ll miss Seattle’s home match against New York City FC that same day.
“I don’t see (USMNT coach) Jurgen (Klinsmann) sending every MLS player back to their teams,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said Wednesday. “The tournament goes through that third-place game, so that’s where everybody is going to be.”
The U.S. suffered a 4-0 defeat against Argentina in the tournament semifinals on Tuesday night and awaits the loser of tonight’s Colombia-Chile match. Dempsey’s four Copa America goals are most on the team and tied for fourth-most in the entire competition.
Dempsey, 33, has started all five of the USMNT’s Copa matches, playing all 90 minutes in the loss to Argentina.
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Seattle is preparing for the busiest stretch of its 2016 schedule. The Sounders play three matches in eight days starting on Saturday, kicking off a July in which they’ll play seven games before even factoring in potential U.S. Open Cup matchups.
– Designated Player Nelson Valdez was again used as a substitute in Seattle’s 2-0 loss to New York at Red Bull Arena last Sunday despite having fully recovered from the lingering calf injury he’d struggled with earlier this season.
Valdez was called into the Paraguayan national team for Copa America Centenario but played only in its group-stage opener against Costa Rica.
“He’s in full training,” Schmid said. “There’s no injury, no problems with his calf. Look for him to get more minutes. We have three games coming up and he’ll play some significant minutes there.”
– Neither Michael Farfan nor Nathan Sturgis has played a single minute of MLS action so far this season — the pair of offseason additions limited by a series of injuries seemingly from the moment each signed — but both went through full training with their teammates on Wednesday morning at Starfire Sports Complex.
Farfan is “out there all the time,” per Schmid, while Sturgis is recovering from a minor knock.
Defender Roman Torres, meanwhile, is going through the next stage of rehab on his torn ACL individually for at least the next two weeks.
– Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window opens July 4, and though no signing appears to be imminent, Schmid said the club is still “actively” looking to add reinforcements next month.
“The transfer window is still important for us,” Schmid said. “We’re actively looking for support. But right now, the team that’s out there … I can’t get on them too much because we are creating chances. We need to continue to create chances.”
– The protective screening installed at Starfire for Copa America Centenario may be here to stay, despite pre-tournament grumbling from fans who can no longer watch practice sessions from behind the near goal.
“We’d like to see it stay,” Schmid said. “It gives us an extra enclosed feeling at training and allows for more concentrated work. … We’ve asked for it to stay, but I don’t make those final decisions. That’s above my pay grade.”