That was a key topic of conversation after Sounders training today.
Here's some of what Dempsey and coach Sigi Schmid had to say:
SCHMIDOn if Dempsey knows about the rivalry: "I’m sure the guys will get him up. We’re going to sit him next to Zach Scott for about 15 minutes and that should do the trick."
DEMPSEYOn what he knows about the rivalry: It’s big. The fans are really going to be up for it. Sixty-seven, 68,000’s coming out to the game. But yeah, I’m used the derbies and I’m used to the rivalries and understand it and hopefully I can open my account this weekend against them.
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On derbies in England: It’s bragging rights. It’s an intense game, people are going to fight to the end. You know how much it means to the fans and making sure they go home happy. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that happens.
On favorite derby memory from England: I had some good memories playing for Fulham – get some goals against Chelsea. Those games are exciting. It’s little victories that you get during the season that sometimes can turn a season around. Hopefully we get the good result on the weekend, and that gives us that push that gets us on a good run of form and make sure we get to the playoffs.
On if USA-Mexico is the most intense rivalry he's played in: Any of the games in the World Cup qualifiers is tough – especially away from home. Every game is so important, so I see all those games the same, to be honest with you, because they’re must-wins == especially at home. If you’re not going to win games at home, you’re not going to qualify for the World Cup. But rivalries are important. It gets people up for the game, and you need to make sure that you get the right result because sometimes you can feed off of that and it can turn things around for you.