HOUSTON – The heat? Could reach 95 degrees today.
The humidity? Brutal.
Well, at least one Sounder will feel at home amid the unforgiving elements of a Texas summer against the Houston Dynamo, and that’s new addition Clint Dempsey.
Dempsey is a native of Nacogdoches, a small town about 140 miles northeast of Houston, and expects to have about 40 friends and family members in attendance.
“Anytime you can play in front of family, it’s always nice,” Dempsey said. “Texas is where it all began for me.”
BBVA Compass Stadium will be sold out for the homecoming and what should be Dempsey’s first start for the Sounders.
But more important today will be Dempsey’s contribution to a suddenly depleted Seattle attack. Leading scorer Obafemi Martins is out with a sprained ankle and Eddie Johnson is serving a one-game suspension due to yellow-card accumulation.
The Sounders are 0-3-1 on the road against the Dynamo, including a season-ending defeat in the 2009 Western Conference semifinals.
That, of course, was before Dempsey, who has been with the team for two weeks and is feeling in better shape and in better form as he gets more comfortable.
“I’ll be looking to impact games more,” he said.
Schmid said both goalkeepers, Michael Gspurning and Marcus Hahnemann, are available but declined to say who would start. Hahnemann has played the past two matches, both wins, as Gspurning has been recovering from a forearm sprain. … Brad Evans rejoined the team following Wednesday’s game with the U.S. national team. The team will determine today whether the midfielder is ready to start on short rest and long travel from Bosnia. … Martins has left the team to tend to a family matter, he said on Twitter, but is expected to be back for practice Tuesday.