Seattle-Portland update, 24 hours ahead of biggest MLS match this year

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The Seattle Times’ Joshua Mayers reports that Sounders striker Obafemi Martins will be a game-time decision ahead of Sunday’s biggie against Portland. That means a couple of things:

We still don’t know if all three Seattle Sounders’ Designated Players will appear on the field together for the first time. Clint Dempsey has played twice so far for his new MLS club, once off the bench and then in last week’s start against Houston, but Martins was injured for both appearances. Plus, Eddie Johnson was out for last week’s loss in Texas.

That’s also going to make things difficult to Seattle manager Sigi Schmid to scheme up Dempsey’s best use for the man’s initial, ballyhooed run-out at CenturyLink Field. His “best use” is presumably the same spot Dempsey holds for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team, in the “hole” behind one striker or two of them, operating in a bit of a free role.

It’s not the best situation to be in, as time is growing short to find the best roles for several players, all of which now revolve around Dempsey and getting their $6 million man into the optimum role. Schmid would surely like to get his best 11 on the field to begin answering questions: What does that mean for figures like Brad Evans and Mauro Rosales, who can play different positions? For that matter, what does is mean for Martins and Johnson?

But let’s not allow any of that to detract from the drama and the pure joy of the moment; tomorrow’s match at a sold out CenturyLink Field (the “big” sell-out, not just the usual, somewhat fabricated “little” sellout).

(MORE: Match preview, Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers)