By KEVIN KOCZWARA
Clint Dempsey’s return to his home state of Texas looks like it will be an eventful one. The Seattle Sounders latest Designated Player is set to walk into a sold out BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday when the Sounders take on the Houston Dynamo.
The Dynamo announced on Thursday that Saturday’s game against the Sounders had sold out. The game is set to be Dempsey’s second match for the Sounders since joining the team earlier this month from Tottenham of the English Premier League, but it’s the first game for the US men’s national team captain in his home state since returning to Major League Soccer — Dempsey, who grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, which is more than a two hour drive from Houston.
With an injury to Obafemi Martins and suspension to Eddie Johnson, Dempsey is likely to be forced into the starting lineup for the match as the Sounders are low on other options while the U.S. Men’s National Team star returns to match fitness.
Here are some more stories from around the league:
TORONTO FC SIGN URRUTI
After six long months of negotiations, Maximiliano Urruti is finally a member of Toronto FC, the club announced on Friday. The Argentine forward arrived in Canada on Tuesday has been training with Toronto since Wednesday in anticipation of the move.
Urruti spent the past three seasons at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina’s First Division and made 56 appearances, scoring 14 goals in the league and Copa Libertadores. As per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. He will be added to the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“We are thrilled to finally get this deal concluded for Maximiliano Urruti. He is a player that we have been aware of for nearly two years and we have scouted him extensively in person,” Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne told the team’s official website. “We think he’s really going to help our team and he is going to be an exciting player for our league so we couldn’t be happier about this outcome.”
RECENT DYNAMO AND RED BULLS SIGNINGS RECEIVE VISAS
Both the Houston Dynamo and the New York Red Bulls received good news this week.
The Dynamo’s marquee summer signing, Alexander Lopez, and one of three signings for the Red Bulls this summer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, both acquired their P-1 Visas and are eligible to play for their clubs immediately.
Lopez, signed as a young designated player, could potentially see his first action as a Dynamo player on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders. According to club officials, Lopez had his Visa approved Thursday and he is available for selection by Dynamo head coach Dominc Kinnear. The Honduran international trained for the first time with his new club on Friday.
Wright-Phillips, who was signed by the Red Bulls on July 24, has been away getting his documents taken care of in England since early August. According to reports, the winger was in training on Friday, but head coach Mike Petke isn’t planning to select Wright-Phillips for Saturday’s match against the Philadelphia Union.
REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER GOES UNDER THE KNIFE
New England Revolution midfielder Gabe Latigue, 22, will miss six to nine months after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee on Thursday. He was injured on July 15 during a training session with the Rochester Rhinos, where he was on loan.
The midfielder has only featured in the U.S. Open Cup for the Revolution this year because he’s spent most of the season with the Revs’ USL affiliate, the Rhinos, where he’s played 16 times and recorded two assists.
What do you think of these reports? Excited to hear that the Dynamo vs. Sounders match is sold out? Do you see Urruti contributing much this season? Do you see Lopez/Wright-Phillips playing this weekend?
Share your thoughts below.