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Clint Dempsey starts on Seattle Sounders’ bench; admits it’s been a hectic week

Clint Dempsey

Seattle Sounders’ recent signing Clint Dempsey warms up ahead of his team’s MLS soccer game against Toronto FC in Toronto, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

AP

Saturday night at BMO Field is one of those nights we get occasionally in soccer, where a figure on the bench is more of a focus than the 22 who start at opening whistle.

As expected, Clint Dempsey was on the bench to begin his new club’s contest at BMO against Toronto FC.

The Sounders’ broadcast team had a quick word with Major League Soccer’s man of the moment just before kickoff at a disappointingly empty BMO. (Thanks a lot, TFC, for all the disastrous years of painful organizational tumult, which has turned one of the best MLS grounds in terms of crowd support into something that looks quite average, at best.)

Dempsey (shown above, warming up Saturday night) admitted that being sick this week, plus all the rigmarole and hullabaloo, made things quite hectic ahead of his first contest with the club. “It’s a lot easier to focus on the play on the field,” Dempsey told Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller, the Sounders’ broadcast team. “That’s what you are used to, what you enjoy doing.”

(MORE: Dempsey set to debut -- why you aren’t seeing it on national TV)