MLS All-Stars Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall were back at Sounders training today, each saying he is ready for duty tomorrow when the Vancouver Whitecaps visit.
Here’s some reaction from Dempsey, Marshall and coach Sigi Schmid:
SIGI SCHMID on the All-Stars returns: It was good to have them back. Obviously it’s the day before the game, so it’s a light training, but it’s good to have Dempsey back and to have Marshall back. It just lifts the mood of the whole group as well. … Obviously there’s a confidence in those guys. Again, it’s a light practice, and we were pretty sharp in what we were going and hopefully that carries over to tomorrow.
DEMPSEY on joining Sounders ahead of MLS and CLL: I just came off a busy month. You just get through it. You grind. You do the regen properly. Make sure you’re body’s right and ready to go. I’m looking forward to it. … I’m ready to go. So whatever role they want to put me in. In terms of how many minutes, it doesn’t matter. I’m just going to go out there and push, try and help the team win. Looking forward to this push toward the end of the year.
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On Sounders struggle while he was away: You never want to see your team not doing well. But at the same time, you only can control the things that you can, and now that I’m back and all I can control how hard I work to try to help the team.
On energy from the returning players: I think we have some new blood that’s come in. Also we have Oba getting close to fitness. I just think getting everybody together, having that competition for spots is just going to make the team be a little bit more sharper.
MARSHALL on his All-Star experience: It was fun. It’s obviously nice to get on the field with some of those players, to play 5-v-2 with David Villa and Kaka is something you’ll always remember, so it was fun.
On the All-Star format: I like the friendly against the big team. That’s all I’ve ever been a part of: I haven’t done the East-West, so I don’t know how that is. But I think it’s fun playing against a big European team and competing against them and challenging yourself. But I’m sure it’s a blast for the players either way.
On training with returning players: It seemed lively. Guys are into it. Guys are excited about tomorrow. It will be nice getting Brad and Clint back. Obviously they are big-name players for us and play huge roles, so it’s always nice when they’re on the field.
Own availability for Saturday: I kind of just treat that as a practice session, and it’s not too bad of a flight – two hour flight – so I feel good. It’s not like we had to go across country or anything.