There will be a Seattle Sounders presence on both sides at 6 p.m. Wednesday when the Major League All-Stars meet Tottenham Hotspur in Commerce City, Colorado.
Sounders forward Clint Dempsey and defender Chad Marshall will be on the MLS side, while former Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin of Seattle will be with the visitors from the English Premier League.
For all the honor attached to the All-Star selections, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid’s primary concern is that his players return healthy and relatively fresh.
“My understanding is they’ve got 22 players, so hopefully everybody plays 45 minutes,” Schmid said. “I think for All-Star games like this the league should actually allow 24 players, so that way you have a sub in case somebody does get injured, which you unfortunately hope never happens. But I don’t think anybody in an All-Star game like this should play more than 45 minutes.”
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Dempsey and Marshall are scheduled to fly back to the Northwest on Thursday and rejoin the Sounders in training on Friday. Schmid took a wait-and-see attitude to their availability for Saturday, when Seattle returns to MLS regular-season play against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Goalkeeper David Ousted will be Vancouver’s lone All-Star representative.
The remainder of the MLS team will be goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Salt Lake), defenders DaMarcus Beasley (Houston), Tony Beltran (Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Laurent Ciman (Montreal), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles), Drew Moor (Colorado) and Waylon Francis (Columbus); midfielders Fabian Castillo (Dallas), Benny Feilhaber (Kansas City), Kaka (Orlando), Dax McCarty (N.Y. Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Kansas City), Sam Cronin (Colorado), Ethan Finlay (Columbus) and Juninho (Los Angeles); and forwards Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto), Kei Kamara (Columbus), David Villa (New York City) and Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles).
That roster was tweaked a bit Tuesday as Robbie Keane and Steven Gerard of Los Angeles, Michael Bradley of Toronto and Chris Tierney of New England withdrew due to injuries.
Sounders forward Obafemi Martins was an earlier scratch, remaining in Seattle due to a leg injury that has kept him out of the past seven matches.
Also staying in Seattle was defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, a four-time All-Star who wasn’t selected this season after missing eight league games due to injury.
That news did not seem to disappoint Seattle coach Sigi Schmid.
“All-Star Game: great, nice honor, nice award,” he said. “At the end of the day we want to make sure that guys are ready to play for us, not that they’re ready to play against (the) Spurs for 45 minutes.”
Alonso had a similar reaction.
“Always you want to be there, but unfortunately I got a lot of injuries and I’m not there,” he said. “I’m focused on Seattle, and I have to keep playing. … Little by little I’m getting my best. Unfortunately I got (groin) surgery this year, I had my hamstring injury, but now I feel better, I feel 100 percent. I hope that I can help the team.”
Alonso joined the Sounders in their expansion 2009 season after defecting from Cuba during the 2006 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
He said Tuesday that he is filing paperwork next week in hopes of being allowed to make his first return visit to his homeland in December.
“This is a gift for me,” he said. “When I come here, it was never to come back. Now it’s eight years for me, so I’m very happy that changed. I’m waiting for that moment.”
The full Alonso interview is available at the Sounders Insider blog: blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer.
Sounders left back Leo Gonzalez suffered a hamstring strain last weekend in Montreal, and Schmid ruled him out at least for this weekend. … Seattle Reign FC forward Beverley Yanez was voted NWSL player of the week after scoring both goals in the Reign’s 2-0 win over Portland on Sunday. … Sounders U-23 defender Jonathan Campbell and Kitsap Pumas goalkeeper Matt Gorsey were named Tuesday to the PDL all-league team.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808
WEDNESDAY: MLS All-Stars vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 6 p.m., at Commerce City, Colorado, FS1