Sounders Insider

Sounders first impression on Dempsey: "It doesn't take too long to see a good soccer player"

Here's some Sounders reaction after training with new teammate Clint Dempsey for the first time today:

Defende DeANDRE YEDLIN: He finishes everything. There was a drill and Sigi was telling us to get in for rebounds. I was his partner and I didn’t even go in for rebounds because I knew it was going to go in anyway. He finishes everything. It’s amazing. I’ve never really seen anything like it.

Coach SIGI SCHMID:He went through practice. He needs to get some fuel in his body. He hasn’t eaten all that well. We kept checking with him through practice: ‘Do you and to go through the next phase, and the next phase,’ and he kept wanting to go through it. So he’s going to be pretty tired this afternoon. But tomorrow’s a travel day for us, and it ends up being a little bit of a recovery day. Hopefully he’ll get some food into him and feel much better on Friday.

On glimpses of what Dempsey brings: It doesn’t take too long to see a good player play. It’s like when we got Mauro Rosales and he tried out for us in Florida, within half an hour of the first practice we said, ‘OK, this guy can play.’ And it’s the same thing with Clint: You can tell he can play. You could tell he was a little fatigued. There were maybe a few more runs he would have made, or he would have done this or that, but you can obviously tell his quality by his touches, and he finished off a goal there at the end for his team.

On Dempsey's role: Obviously he’ll play an important role for us. Like I’ve said before, he’s going to be in an attacking part of the field. He’s a player who’s going to help orchestrate our game for us, but he’s also a player who has the ability to finish. And so he’s going to be a vital cog of our game. Our game’s going to flow through him to a certain aspects, and it’s going to be important for him to spread the ball to the Obas and the Eddies and the Neagles and all the other people who are on the field that need the ball on the right now.

On if he has idea of first 11 and shape even if he won't share it: I think as a coach you always have an idea as to what you’re going to do. But you’re right, I’m not going to share it. … It’s things you think about. Sometimes what you think’s going to work in your head when you put it out there on the field doesn’t quite work the way you imagined it, so then you’ve got to tweak it a little bit and change it a little bit. It’s something that will take a couple of weeks. I know what lineup we’d put out if tomorrow was an MLS Cup final and a must-win, but I’d like better to get three-four games under our belt and then we’ll have a much better idea of how the whole makeup fits together.

On leadership from Dempsey: I remember a coach saying, ‘He’s been around the block, but he hasn’t been in this neighborhood yet.’ So for him, he’s trying to get the feel of the neighborhood as well, and at the right times then he’ll step forward. But the main thing is what good players do in games at critical moments, they step up and they take charge of the game. And that’s what we expect from him.