TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) The Seattle Sounders expect to have star forward Clint Dempsey in the lineup for Saturday's season opener at Houston in what would be his first MLS match since being sidelined by a heart issue last August.

Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey and coach Brian Schmetzer indicated Tuesday that Dempsey will be in the lineup against the Dynamo, although how much he plays will be watched closely.

Dempsey has been a full participant through most of the preseason, watching his minutes increase during the Sounders' four exhibition games. Dempsey played 80 minutes in the final exhibition game last Saturday, a 1-0 loss to Columbus.

Dempsey, who turns 34 on March 9, has not played in an MLS game since Aug. 21, when he had two goals in a 3-1 win over Portland.