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August 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM

A stop and chat with Clint Dempsey ahead of a Texas homecoming this weekend

dempsey mug 2013Reporters got a chance to catch up with Sounders FC’s Clint Dempsey after Wednesday’s practice. The designated player had been on an extensive media tour Monday on the East Coast and is headed back close to his hometown this weekend, and those were a couple topics that came up.

Here is a transcript:

*     *     *

(Have you ever been a part of a media marathon like that? How did that go?) “No. Never ever experienced that, but it’s good for the league and good for the team. Any type of attention gets our team name out there a little bit more and hopefully (results in) more fans.”

(Did you enjoy it at all?) “Just kind of comes along with the territory. I enjoy playing football, that’s what I want to do.”

(What’s it going to be like going back to Texas this weekend? Will you have friends and family there?) “I’m from Nacogdoches and it’s like two hours to get to Houston. But yeah, I’ll probably be getting like 40 tickets. It’ll be great to see all my family. It’s been three or four years since I’ve have gotten the opportunity to play a game in Houston.”

(Was the last time you played in Houston for the USMNT?) “Yes.”

(How’s it feel to have that opportunity again?) “It’s good. Anytime you can play in front of family, it’s always nice. Anytime you get to see them after the game, it’s great. Texas is where it all began for me. It gave me the opportunity to play club ball and to accomplish my dreams, so I owe a lot to where I’m from.”

(Any idea what kind of reception you’ll get?) “Probably mixed. I’m sure some people will be happy to see me and some people will be looking forward to booing me, just like Toronto. So that’s what comes along with that. I think is fun. It’s part of the game and what everyone has to deal with. If I was a Houston Dynamo fan, I would do the same thing. I would want my team to win. But I’m with the Seattle Sounders and I am going to do everything I can to help this team accomplish its goal to win the MLS Cup.”

(You haven’t been here very long, but do you feel you’re getting more comfortable?) “Yeah, it hasn’t been much, like you said. I’ve only played in a game for 60 minutes, I’ve only been in maybe three or four training sessions, but yeah, my sharpness is getting there, my fitness is getting there, and I’ll be looking to impact games more.”

(Are you a guy that will go up to guys in the locker room and introduce yourself to players you don’t have history with?) “Just with any team, through traveling, and through being on a bus, whether being in the locker room or eating lunch or this and that, you just happen to talk to everybody. I think it’s just like when you go to school — either you do make friends or you don’t make friends.”

(In that sense, do these road games help?) “I don’t know if necessarily that makes a difference or not. I think it’s good to just get with the group as soon as possible and try to get any games, whether it’s away or at home. I don’t think that really plays too big of a part of it. I think what really makes a difference is what you do on the training field and what you do in games, not traveling or whether its home — to me personally, that’s how I think.”

(Can you already tell the changes in MLS since you were last here?) “Yeah. I mean look at the game against Portland that we’re playing in. There’s 68,000 ways it’s different. There are more fans coming out to games, the quality is better here, there are more franchises popping up, more soccer-specific stadiums. So yeah, the game is getting better. I look forward to being part of the continued growth of the game here.”

(You’ve mentioned missing Mexican food in England. Any chance to get some here, and especially in Texas?) “Yeah, it’ll be good. I haven’t gotten the opportunity. I haven’t really been in Seattle that many days, so I haven’t really gotten the chance to go around too much. But yeah, I look forward to trying the local restaurants and looking to do some of the stuff outdoors like fishing or going hiking or that kind of stuff. But so far, it’s been good the places that I’ve eaten and I’m enjoying the city.”

(What did you make of not being involved in the Bosnia-Herzegovina friendly?) “It’s good to be with the club team. I need to get acclimated as soon as possible. I need to make sure that we get the right results that we make playoffs. If you don’t make the playoffs, you don’t have a chance to win the MLS Cup. It’s good to be here and try to help this team to do that and also for me to get that fitness and that sharpness.”

(So what do you think of Rave green?) “Yeah, it’s good. It’s good.”

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