MLS- Seattle Sounders

Dempsey brace keys Sounders' dominant win over Rapids

ClintDempseyVsRapids (JaneGPhotography)

Photo by Jane Gershovich/JaneG. Photography


SEATTLE — Clint Dempsey is running rampant over Major League Soccer, and he has the Seattle Sounders looking like early title contenders.

Dempsey scored his league-leading seventh and eighth goals on Saturday, terrorized the Colorado Rapids throughout the match, and lifted Seattle to a dominant 4-1 win in front of 38,582 at CenturyLink Field.

The match turned quickly on Dempsey’s brace, the pair of goals coming just five minutes apart early in the second half.

In the 47th minute, with the Sounders already leading 1-0, Dempsey fed Marco Pappa into the box on a clever give-and-go. Pappa’s ensuing shot rebounded off diving goalkeeper Clint Irwin and fell to Dempsey as he charged the goal. The league’s highest-paid Designated Player quickly chipped a short-range shot over Irwin’s prone body for the 2-0 lead.

Just five minutes later Dempsey redirected a Chad Marshall header, softly lofting a header of his own over Irwin’s outstretched gloves.

It was Dempsey’s third multiple-goal effort in the six games he has played.

Colorado managed to get on the scoreboard in the 63rd minute when Nick LaBrocca sprung Dillon Serna behind the Seattle back line. Serna easily beat helpless goalkeeper Stefan Frei from 12 yards out to make it 3-1, but the Sounders weren’t done scoring.

In the 75th minute, Obafemi Martins took a quick throw-in from Lamar Neagle, cut in against defender Drew Moor, and buried a 15-yard shot into the far netting for a 4-1 lead.

Seattle (5-2-1, 16 points) has scored 13 goals in its last four matches, going 3-0-1 in the process and looking ever more lethal in attack.

Seattle outshot Colorado 20-10, and nearly scored more goals on multiple occasions.

“Once the guys got on a roll in the second half,” said Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, “it was a lot of fun out there.”

For his part, Dempsey credited his teammates for Seattle’s early season success.

“It was good work from everybody,” Dempsey said. “Good, quick play, quick transition of the point of attack from the midfield. Getting the ball wide—Pappa and Neagle also contributing, Ozzie [Alonso] and [Gonzalo] Pineda with the good passing and getting us the ball in good spots. We were able to make things happen with link-up play through each other, as well. I would have to say it’s a team effort.”

The loss is a setback for a Colorado team that had won two of its last three games and came into the match riding back-to-back clean sheets. But the Rapids (3-2-2, 11 points) were unable to generate an attack without injured midfielder Dillon Powers, and were shredded in back by a Sounders team that threatened in waves of quick combination play.

“The two guys up top really made a difference,” said Colorado head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “Martins and Dempsey really caused us a bit of grief.”

Neagle opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time, cleaning up from barely a yard out after Moor weakly cleared a Dempsey shot off the line. Dempsey’s initial shot came off a perfectly weighted through-ball from Martins that released Dempsey behind Colorado’s back line and drew Irwin out of his box.

After a back-and-forth start to the match, Seattle began to wrench away control of the game around the half-hour mark. But the final pass or the first touch seemed lacking until Neagle found the back of the net.

“In the first half, we did a pretty good job of getting a foot in the game,” said Mastroeni. “But that goal at the end of the first half really set the tone for the second half. We came out flat in almost anticipating almost more of the same. For me it was disappointing that the mindset wasn’t right going into the [second] half.”

Looking forward, both teams are back in action next weekend. Colorado hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy, while the Philadelphia Union travel to Seattle.

Here are the match highlights:

  • Landy Cakes

    Clint dempsey is out of his mind. He must have been really insulted by all those people who said he’d lost his form.


    • umbro

      here’s to hoping we can keep insulting him for, oh, the next 60 or 70 days then 🙂


      • Bac

        He must have been logging onto SBI a few months ago
        Maybe we can get Jozy to start reading…


      • Duke

        Yeah, he could read all about it from the bench cause that’s where he spent the entire match today


      • Joe

        Screw “hoping”; the guy is the highest paid player in MLS so he should be the leading goalscorer, but he runs around making faces like he’s William Wallace. And when was the last time he scored for the USMNT?!? It was almost 8 months ago!!!


    • Michael Stypulkoski

      He had lost his form, though. I’m as happy as anyone that he seems to have found it again heading into the summer, but we can’t pretend that the last ten-twelve months didn’t happen.


      • divers suck

        ” but we can’t pretend that the last ten-twelve months didn’t happen.”

        Wanna bet?….What other experienced NAT has been scoring lately?


      • smokeminside

        Plus, everyone bashing him was saying his career was over, he was getting old, he was a self-absorbed prima donna, who only came back to MLS because he was on the downhill side of his career and picking up speed as he neared the bottom.

        Ridiculous how quickly people turned their backs on him.


      • Landy Cakes

        12 months ago he was scoring against Costa Rica in the snow. Then he scored against germany. He scored 6 goals in 20 apperances for the national team in 2013, a tie with the previous year for his highest total ever.


  • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper"

    I don’t know who ticked off Dempsey but they are gonna be sorry. The deuce is loose!


    • The Imperitive Deuce

      Y’@ll don’t even KNOW HOW RILL IT BOUT TO GET UP IN HERE!!!!

      OH STEWARDESS… I speak Ives…

      GIT n THA VAN or face tha DEUCE ABUSE!


  • reignman

    The Dempsey and Martins combo is really firing on all cylinders at the moment, had to be what the front office have envisioned when they signed both. Neagle is also playing well for them and should start every game. Worryingly the defense was carved about by two simple through balls from the Rapids, on one of them Marshall just missed it and Yedlin overplayed it and on the other it was just way to easy in between the CBs. Needs to clean that sort of stuff up.


    • Hindsight

      I love the idea of pairing Deuce with a striker who has blistering pace, such as Martins. I can’t wait to see how this works out in Brazil when he’s paired with Charlie Dav… never mind.


  • KingGoogleyEye

    How many bruises does Irwin have on his chest/belly/face after this match?

    The guy made some good saves, but for several it looked like he had to “make himself big” and hope the Sounders smacked the ball into him. Ouch.


  • 360

    So Dempsey spins his body complete 360 on the pass to Pappa, and still beats everyone to the rebound. Wow.


  • Good Jeremy

    I was riding him really hard for his performance over the last year, so I feel personally responsible for his rise in form.
    You’re all welcome.


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