Sounders go with same lineup on day they honor Clint Dempsey

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A Clint Dempsey commemorative poster will be given out Sunday to the first 20,000 fans on-hand at CenturyLink Field for the team’s game against Sporting Kansas City. Dempsey retired Wednesday and is to be honored in a pregame ceremony. (Sounders)

The Sounders enter Saturday’s contest having won seven in a row to tie a league record held jointly with their day’s opponents, Sporting Kansas City. Not surprisingly, they’re going with much the same lineup that’s gotten them into this position in the first place. The only eyebrow-lifter might be right back Kelvin Leerdam getting the start on an ankle he sprained just six days ago at Portland. Leerdam was still limping around during training late this week, but will clearly try to gut things out as long as he can given the dropoff in pure right back depth behind him.

Saturday’s pregame will be devoted to a ceremony honoring forward Clint Dempsey, who retired Wednesday tied for the franchise lead in goals with Fredy Montero at 47. A special commemorative poster will be given the first 20,000 fans entering CenturyLink Field and it should be no problem reaching that mark given the special event and the on-field stakes in this one.

If the Sounders lose, they can pretty much forget about a first-round playoff bye. KC holds the second of those bye spots in the standings and currently sits seven points ahead of the Sounders.

Meanwhile, holding down just the sixth and final playoff spot at the moment, the Sounders can’t afford a letdown.

SOUNDERS (11-9-5)

GK Stefan Frei

LB Brad Smith

CB Kim Kee-hee

CB Chad Marshall

RB Kelvin Leerdam

MF Gustav Svensson

MF Osvaldo Alonso

MF Harry Shipp

MF Nicolas Lodeiro

MF Cristian Roldan

FW Raul Rauidiaz

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or . Geoff Baker covers the Sounders and is a sports enterprise and investigative reporter for The Seattle Times who writes a column on hockey and the NHL.