Got a few minutes today with Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey to discuss the Clint Dempsey injury, and the fact that it occurred while away with the U.S. national team.
On the U.S. Soccer prognosis of Dempsey being out 2-3 weeks: We haven’t seen him yet, so once we get our hands on him we can make our own assessment.
On if the Dempsey injury is more frustrating because it happened while away with the national team: It’s next man up. … Our goal is to win MLS Cup, and MLS Cup gets played in December. Our goal is that in March we’re going to get guys healthy, hopefully play them well over the course of the season, and if Clint’s out for a while it gives other guys opportunities. Hopefully those guys will take them, and if they don’t, we’ll keep looking.
On the Sounders having a third-week bye and then a fourth-week game while the national team is playing: Generally speaking, as you can imagine, with 20 teams we don’t get to say just when we want to play here and not play here. The league’s philosophy in general is to schedule a little more thinly in March than in July, for example, for the simple reason of the climate and stuff like that, and if you look at ticket sales, you do a little bit better in the summer. In general we try to avoid FIFA windows, but it’s not always possible. When we did get the schedule, the one thing that we did do is say, ‘Hey, we’ve got this bye in March, that’s kind of a bummer, let’s see if we can drop a game in this window.’ Because for our team, we want to keep playing games, especially early in the season, and honestly the friendly actually works pretty well because you might be able to play a lot of guys and from a fitness perspective this is pretty good. And so we had an S2 game on Saturday, this game on Tuesday, and between that you’ll have basically everybody in our top 30 getting a serious meaningful game, and hopefully that prepares us for Dallas on the weekend.