Since June 13, Dempsey has played in just five of Seattle’s 20 matches, notching one goal and three assists during that span.

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If there was any silver lining to Clint Dempsey’s pair of close-range misses in the second half of the Sounders’ disappointing 1-1 draw at Kansas City on Sunday, it’s that in previous weeks the star forward wouldn’t have been able to even put himself in those positions.

Dempsey, who is still recovering from a nagging hamstring injury suffered during an early-August practice session, rated himself at “90 percent” health and climbing following practice Tuesday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

“Last week (against Sporting) I was able to make those runs to get into the box that a few weeks before I wasn’t able to make,” Dempsey said. “It’s what comes with the game. Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t. … I’m happy with my play. It feels good to get into those spots again.”

Dempsey’s year, like that of the Sounders’ campaign at large, has veered from one extreme to the other. The veteran started the season on a record pace, netting seven goals by mid-May. He and Obafemi Martins transcended to a new plane of understanding, playing off each other and driving Seattle to the top of the MLS standings.

Then Dempsey ripped up a referee’s notebook on an emotionally charged June night, picked up a three-match suspension, headed out on U.S. national-team duty and got injured shortly following his return.

Since June 13, Dempsey has played in just five of Seattle’s 20 matches, notching one goal and three assists during that span.

“This year, I’ve had two or three hamstring injuries, which has been frustrating, especially the last one,” said Dempsey, 32. “It seems like it’s taken me a while to get back to full fitness. But I’ve played in 17 games this year. I’ve contributed eight goals and nine assists. I’ve contributed a goal a game. I’m happy with that return, but I’m pushing to get more goals.”

Assessing S2’s campaign

S2 wrapped up its inaugural USL season with a 2-0 defeat against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Friday in the first round of the playoffs. Seattle finished the regular season with a 13-12-3 record — including an 11-3-0 mark at Starfire Stadium — qualifying for the postseason with a victory over Austin on the final day of the campaign.

“We’re obviously happy to make the playoffs,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said Tuesday. “We’re happy to have signed our first player to the Sounders off of that team (Andy Craven). I think there are going to be some guys from that team that get invites to the first-team preseason next year. Ultimately, that’s how that team is going to be judged … how many first-teamers they produce.

“I think we’ve all seen the exciting headlines around the league, a couple weeks ago, with Dallas starting five Homegrown players in a game. Against us, I think Kansas City started three Homegrown players. I think that’s definitely the way the league’s going.

“S2 is the best way to do that. … We’re really looking forward to that project going forward. We definitely have work to do on upgrading the talent on the roster and producing more pro players.”

Nearing full strength

Though midfielder Erik Friberg practiced inside Tuesday with a sore neck after sitting out the draw in Kansas City and defender Roman Torres is out for the season because of a torn knee ligament, coach Sigi Schmid should have nearly a full squad to choose from for the match Sunday against the Galaxy at CenturyLink Field.

“We’re as healthy as we’ve been,” Schmid said. “Even Craven is sort of back into training now. With the exception of Torres, we’ve got 28 guys that are healthy.”


• The Sounders will wear special-edition, Halo-branded black uniforms for the match Sunday, inspired by the popular video game and in conjunction with the club’s Xbox sponsorship.

• Still no word on whether CenturyLink will be painted with football lines during the match Sunday before the Seahawks-Lions football game Monday night.

“We’re going to be optimistic until we’re not, and we’re working on the process to see where we’ll land,” Lagerwey said.