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Sounders sell out Clint Dempsey debut

Clint Dempsey's likely home debut for the Seattle Sounders could be played in front of one of the largest crowds in Major League Soccer history.

The Sounders announced Tuesday that their Aug. 25 match versus rival Portland had sold out the 67,000-capacity CenturyLink Field, and that the club would be opening 400 bleacher seats plus offering standing room only tickets for the first time in club history for an MLS match.

The Sounders say more than 6,000 tickets were sold after Dempsey's signing was announced Saturday. Dempsey could make his debut for Seattle on Saturday at Toronto, but he sat out training on Tuesday with an illness.

Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said it was unlikely Dempsey would play 90 minutes this week.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow and where his recovery is," Schmid told reporters, according to MLSsoccer.com. "We're still a long way away from Saturday. We'll see how he feels at the end of the day. The likelihood of him going 90 minutes on Saturday is very small. Whether that's starting and coming off or coming on as a sub, we'll have to see."

Seattle had led MLS in attendance each of its first four seasons. The Sounders drew 66,452 last season -- the second-largest regular season crowd in MLS history -- when they hosted Portland.

The largest regular season crowd was 69,255, set at the Rose Bowl in the Los Angeles Galaxy's first game in 1996.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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