Clint Dempsey, star of the Seattle Sounders, is many things, but he’s not a robot. The man needs a breather. Luckily, the Sounders get a lull in the action this week. Seattle, for the first time in along time, has a full week to prepare for Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rapids.
Doctors always say it, naps and rest are very good things. Thus much has been made of Dempsey’s being tired, he even said so much himself. If the Sounders have any hope of building on their unprecedented success this season, they need to rest Dempsey. The best time to do so would be next Wednesday’s game at Chivas. Letting him play hooky from Los Angeles would let him not only avoid travel but give the man 12 days off before we play RSL. Nearly two weeks is long enough time to give Deuce a full break, a vacation not just from games, but from training and reporting to Starfire. Let him take multiple days to go home and see his family. Deuce doesn’t just need physical rest for his body, but mental rest as well.
One of the problems with MLS roster building is that often the best players ply their trade overseas in leagues that don’t match our calendar. When signing one of these players, you are getting an overripe product. Obafemi Martins came in last year like a man possessed before tuckering out by the end of the year, and likewise Dempsey arrived to much fanfare, but was (like Tim Cahill and other mid-season transfers) a shell of his best self.
Now Dempsey is looking at entering his ninth straight month of footballing. He was with Fulham in January, the Sounders in March, the USMNT in June and now on the brink of September is still at it. Sure, most of us punch the clock, day in and day out, and are none the worse for wear. But professional athletes have a different sort of job. They don’t show up for X hours to manage X tasks, and leave their worries at the office. Atheletes are building a project, working towards a singular goal, one season at a time. When that project is over (usually in a failing effort– hell only one time enjoys their offseason every year), these men need time to “regen” as coach Sigi Schmid would say.
Deuce has been seriously invested with not only the 2014 Seattle Sounders, but the 2013 Fulham FC, and the 2014 USMNT. He’s been like a contractor juggling jobs and it is hard to serve more than one master. But you and me? We want him most invested with the Sounders this autumn. We want that treble and we can’t do that with a flagging Deuce.