TORONTO, Ontario–Welcome to BMO Field on a beautiful Saturday here in Canada. The view from the press box, I must say, is pretty amazing.
A lot more excitement is expected today as we should see the debut of Sounders FC’s super signing Clint Dempsey at some point. Coach Sigi Schmid has said it’s unlikely the U.S. national team star will play 90 minutes, but it’s possible he could start. Personally, I would think a substitute appearance might be coming, though we’ll see.
There is another thing to watch for as goalkeeper Michael Gspurning could make his return after missing three games with a sprained forearm. He had participated in the last three practices. I made the point in the paper today that this could be the strongest the Sounders have ever been (particularly as the team gets healthy).
For Toronto, the hosts are on a two-game winning streak and will look to spoil the Dempsey party. There will be a lot of eyes on this one, both in the stadium and around the league, which will provide a big-game feel.
Seattle, for its part, is looking to end a three-game road losing streak.
I’ll post lineups here when they become available.
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Sounders FC lineup: GK Marcus Hahnemann, D DeAndre Yedlin, D Patrick Ianni, D Djimi Traore, D Leo Gonzalez, M Mauro Rosales, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Brad Evans, M Lamar Neagle, F Obafemi Martins, F Eddie Johnson
Sounders FC bench: GK Michael Gspurning, D Zach Scott, D Marc Burch, M Shalrie Joseph, M Servando Carrasco, F/M Clint Dempsey, F Eriq Zavaleta
Toronto FC lineup: GK Joe Bendik; D Richard Eckersley, D Steven Caldwell, D Doneil Henry, D Ashtone Morgan; M Reggie Lambe, M Matias Laba, M Jonathan Osorio, M Bobby Convey; F Andrew Wiedeman, F Jeremy Brockie
Toronto FC bench: GK Stefan Frei, D Gale Agbossoumonde, D Jonas Elmer, D Jeremy Hall, M Alvaro Rey, F Justin Braun, F Robert Earnshaw
NOTES: Dempsey watch will involve seeing when he subs in, as the new additions starts out on the bench. Hahnemann starts his second-straight game as Gspurning is able to come back on the bench. Believe it or not, this is the first time this season the Sounders have used a repeat lineup, and it came so soon as last week in a 3-0 home win vs. Dallas. The last time Seattle repeated a lineup was the final two games of the 2012 regular season.