Sigi Schmid hoping U.S. lets Clint Dempsey stay with Sounders
Dempsey has missed the last two MLS games with a hamstring injury, but could be called up to the U.S. national-team this weekend for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
Every coach for himself.
Sigi Schmid understands that’s how it works in the never-ending conflict between club and national teams. That doesn’t mean anything comes easier for Sounders FC, however, which will likely lose players once again to international duty next week.
U.S. national-team coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters Tuesday that he won’t take the MLS schedule or the needs of MLS teams into consideration regarding his roster for World Cup qualifiers Oct. 11 against Jamaica and Oct. 15 at Panama — this after the Americans have already qualified.
As a result, any combination of Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans could be leaving the Sounders after Saturday’s game at Colorado. The U.S. roster announcement, initially set for Thursday, was pushed to the weekend, and Seattle stands to get hit hardest.
“Every coach is worried about his team,” Schmid said after Thursday’s practice. “I have to be worried about my team, not (Klinsmann’s). It’s just a matter of he’s got to do what he thinks is best for his team and I have to do what I think is best for my team.”
Schmid noted the issue has been the same over the years, regardless of national-team coach, but where the biggest conflict lies this time is with Dempsey, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Klinsmann said Tuesday he expects his captain to join camp even after missing the past two MLS games due to injury. Dempsey hasn’t resumed full training with the Sounders and is still considered day-to-day.
Said Schmid: “It’s important that you’re bringing in players (to the national team) who are healthy and not players who are going to try and get healthy while you’re there.”
A deeper root of the discord lies with MLS, which schedules regular-season games during previously established windows for national teams, unlike most major leagues around the world. Avoiding that would require more midweek games, which typically don’t draw as well as those on the weekend.
But Schmid said adjusting the league schedule to avoid national-team conflicts would be “more respectful” of the fans.
“I think our fans are getting more sophisticated, our fans are getting more knowledgeable,” he added, “and maybe the soccer fan would rather turn up on a Wednesday and see the guys that they want to see than turn up on a Saturday and not see the guys that they want to see.”
Rosales wants to return
Mauro Rosales is approaching the end of his contract, but the 32-year-old midfielder wants to stay a Sounder for two more seasons, according to his agent.
Rosales, the team’s co-leader with 34 career assists, signed a two-year deal before 2012 that made him a designated player.
The Sounders, who face the difficult task of fitting under the salary cap next season, also sound willing to get something done.
“We would love to have him back in future years,” said general manager Adrian Hanauer in an email. “At the end of the season, we will sit down with Mauro and his agent, and try to work something out.”
• Djimi Traore has been ruled out of Saturday’s game with a hamstring strain. Fellow defender Leo Gonzalez also appears unlikely to play due to a hip/groin injury.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com