Clint Dempsey’s first performance for Seattle Sounders impressed head coach Sigi Schmid.
The USA star replaced Obafemi Martins just after the half-hour mark of Seattle’s 2-1 win at Toronto FC and looked good in patches despite being a bit out of touch fitness-wise.
Schmid admitted he did not want to bring Dempsey on as early as he did but was thrilled to see him get some vital minutes under his belt as the 2013 MLS campaign begins to heat up.
“I thought Clint did well. He hasn’t played a game in two and a half weeks or so, so once you get your game rhythm back, it will make a big difference,” said Schmid.
“His understanding with our players and our guys is something that will grow, as well. We ended up having to bringing him a little bit sooner than we expected, but I was happy with him.”
He added: “We told him when he went in that the timing when it happened it was such that I didn’t want to bring someone else on because then I would have to make another sub.
“I just told Clint to manage his way through those 15 minutes, ‘You didn’t really get a proper warm-up, make sure you don’t pull anything,’ and then right away he ended up having to make that 70-yard run where he gets in almost with Eddie [Johnson]. But he managed his way through, he’s a veteran player and then he was fine for the second half.”