Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins hadn’t shared the pitch with each other since June 16.
Finally reunited on Saturday at CenturyLink Field, it took them less than six minutes to connect, as Dempsey lofted a pass above the Toronto FC defense, and Martins sped to it and finished. After the ball hit the back of the net, Martins turned, ran to Dempsey and jumped into his arms.
After Toronto had tied the score, the pair combined again for the winner in the 77th minute. This time it was Dempsey finishing from in front of the goal after Toronto goalkeeper Chris Konopka had stopped a shot by Martins.
The Sounders (13-13-2) played under assistant coach Brian Schmetzer, filling in for head coach Sigi Schmid, who missed the game "due to a health-related issue," according to a club release. The release also said Schmid is expected to resume his regular duties this week, but that no other information was available.
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It was Schmid’s fourth game absence since the 2009 expansion season. Two of the previous misses were due to family weddings and one due to suspension.
Dempsey and Martins had last played together on June 16 – the night of the U.S. Open Cup loss to Portland when Martins was injured and Dempsey was suspended. That night also marked the downturn in the Sounders season that took them from the top of the table to their ongoing struggle for playoff position.
Seattle’s three designated players were finally united in the 61st minute, when Nelson Valdez substituted on for Lamar Neagle.
The Sounders played without midfielder Marco Pappa and central defender Roman Torres, who are away on international duty.
Toronto (11-11-4) played without MVP candidate Sebastian Giovinco (adductor) and forward Jozy Altidore (U.S. national team.
The Reds’ goal that equalized the match in the 58th minute came on a header from Eriq Zavaketa, a former Sounder.
Seattle returns to action next Saturday at Western Conference playoff rival San Jose.