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Red-hot Dempsey propels Sounders to comeback win vs. FC Dallas

ClintDempseyVsFCDallas (USATodaySports)


FC Dallas has enjoyed a dream start to the 2014 MLS season. A combination of good soccer and good fortune had helped Oscar Pareja’s side jump out to a 4-0-1 record and first place in the West. For 74 minutes it looked like FC Dallas might continue their hot streak.

Then Clint Dempsey got going, and took the Sounders on yet another wild comeback ride.

Just a week after leading Seattle to a two-goal comeback in a 4-4 tie with Portland, Dempsey was at it again, scoring two goals and forcing an own goal with a smart shot into traffic, to help the Sounders erase a 2-1 deficit and earn a 3-2 victory at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Dempsey started his busy night with a first-class free kick that battered the underside of the crossbar before bouncing in and past FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Even after Michel converted a penalty kick earned after David Texeira drew a foul in the penalty area from DeAndre Yedlin, FC Dallas couldn’t avoid Dempsey’s heroics.

The U.S. Men’s National Team captain forced a Stephen Keel own goal when he sent a low shot toward the front of goal that Keel re-directed past his own goalkeeper to make the score 2-2 in the 75th minute.

Just 10 minutes later, Dempsey capped his standout night by working a passing combination with Chad Barrett and finishing off a Barrett pass in front of goal to make the score 3-2, handing FC Dallas their first loss of the season.

Dempsey’s heroics helped offset a forgettable night for multiple members of Seattle’s rear guard. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei surrendered the first FC Dallas goal when he came out for a bouncing ball only to see the wind carry the ball over his head, where David Texeira raced onto it and headed into an empty net.

Yedlin also struggled on the night, with the low point coming when he elbowed Texeira in the penalty area in the 42nd minute to give FC Dallas a penalty kick that Michel easily converted.

The victory pulled the Sounders into a three-way tie for second place in the West (with Colorado and Real Salt Lake), just three points behind first-place FC Dallas.

Seattle returns to action on Saturday against Chivas USA, while FC Dallas meets Toronto FC.

Here are the match highlights:


  1. Entertaining game. Neagle should have been sent off. I hate the reluctance of referees issuing a second yellow for stupid reckless challenges. You have to protect the players.

    • Seattle fan, completely agree. He should have been sent off. Why issue a caution if it really isn’t a caution ?

      Plus, if you don’t send players off the play never changes. Look at the foul fest on Dempsey and Seattle the first two games.

  2. Good game to watch overall, big win for the Sounders to come back late and get full points. Yedlin is not playing as bad as people here seem to think, he gets better every time Cooper leaves because his replacement usually has some interest in defending. Cooper is not and will not be a midfielder, if he isn’t starting at striker he shouldn’t be starting. It’s impossible to defend well when you are constantly 2 v 1, with that said he made at least one goal saving tackle when Castillo torched Marshall in the box. Frei has rock hands, he spills rebounds left and right and let the wind fool him on the first goal. Either his play needs to get better or Sigi needs to find a replacement. Dempsey and Martins look be forming a nice partnership together, some nice interchange between the two of them, especially on the last goal.

    • The sequence starting around 3:15 on the highlights is what worries me about yedlin at the international level.

      Not that he got beat to the inside for the shot, but watch his movement once the rebound is cleared. Where in the world is he going? He abandons his zone to pressure an off-ball attacker high in the center of the field.

      He showed the same positional deficiency in his cameo against south korea. He seems very excitable and will race ahead of the back line with little reason to do so. I imagine he’ll settle down as he gains experience, but until then it would be suicidal to use him in meaningful usmnt matches.

      • You’re correct about Yedlin’s defensive errors, but I disagree about it being “suicidal to use him in meaningful usmnt matches.” What’s the alternative? That’s the real question.

        For a US team that has Cherundolo, Cameron, Chandler, and Lichaj/Parkhurst, I’d say playing Yedlin would be unwise.

        Sadly, we all know that those options aren’t all available. Instead, we’re looking at Cameron, Evans, and maybe Parkhurst (if he’s not needed at LB). That keeps Yedlin on the roster—and he is better overall than Evans at RB, especially against fast strikers.

        I wouldn’t play Yedlin unless Cameron and Parkhurst were injured or filling in at other positions, or if I needed to throw a Hail Mary in the 80th minute. That’s desperation, but not suicide.

      • One more thought: many people criticize Yedlin for being “fast but still makes lots of defensive positioning errors.”

        That reminds me a lot of what many say about Beasley: “He makes a lot of positional errors, but he’s fast enough to recover.”

        I’m not saying that we should play one liability at RB just because we have a similar liability at LB, I’m just pointing out that JK seems comfortable enough with this sort of liability.

      • I’m terrified of beasley at left back too. He will be manhandled on set pieces. Hoping fabian starts there and parkhurst does well enough to claim the back up spot.

        But you’re right, any “he shouldn’t play for the usmnt” comment should include who should play instead.

        Cameron should start at right back and parkhurst and evans will battle it out for the backup spot.

        Evans is slow, yes, but that’s a known limitation we can prepare for. Omar can slide over early whenever evans is faced up 1v1 against a speedy attacker.

        But yedlin’s lack of discipline is unpredictable and impossible to game plan around. Suddenly he just won’t be where you expect and now you’re screwed.

      • away goals: fair points comparing Evans’ predictable lack of speed to Yedlin’s unpredictable positioning.

        Only one of those is curable, but within the next 2 months? Probably not. Either way, we agree that we’re debating over who should be third choice.

  3. Missed the first 20 minutes but that was probably the worst game I’d seen from FCD all year so far, and I wouldn’t say it was all their fault. Lots of bad fouls and neither team were able to take control. Gotta say it was bad luck on the Keel OG and without that they may not have found their rhythm. Still, at least I was right about Yedlin being a defensive liability, not that I was going out on a limb or anything, though I would have liked to have seen Fab do a bit more to expose that liability.

    Both sides played what some might call a dirty game…some will say it was just physical. Personally, I don’t mind a reasonable amount of physicality, but after they started in we got frustrated and fouling and I really can’t believe that neither side saw a red.

    I said elsewhere that a loss would be disappointing and it still is, but not as much as I would have thought…all things considered. If we don’t pick up at least 3pts from the next few, then I’ll start to worry.

  4. looks like Clint has settled in, linking up and combo passing, that is from teamwork and familiarity, exactly what he was lacking with that team. the skills never went anywhere

    Neagle and the Sounders lucky; he earned his second yellow in the first half and got away with it.

    fun game to watch

  5. Michel: worst and sleaziest goal celebration I can remember.

    Chad Marshall: the real reason Seattle won, with some key moments from Traore as well.

    Yedlin: can’t blame him for getting overrun by Texeira and Casillas when Cooper did almost nothing to help defend, but there is no excuse for that elbow. (I mean, doesn’t he know he’s supposed to hit his opponent in the crotch?)

    Neagle: reckless.

    Martins: would have salvaged the first goal, would have been offside on the Keel own goal, would have cleaned up the third goal. Anyone have stats on how far he runs during a match? The man works hard.

  6. 1. Seems like playing Deuce withdrawn off the target striker rather than playing in the midfield for Seattle may not be a bad idea…. huh Sigi?
    2. It’s a good sign he’s not only scoring, but different types of goals.
    – Great free kick
    – Nice first touch in the box then nice lay off to get it back for #2
    – That volley woulda been GOTY nominee
    3. It’s good to see him smile
    4. (I still don’t think he should take PKs for the usmnt)

  7. Why you dance like that, Michel? Why you do that?

    Yedlin looked really poor today. What gives?

    Deuce with a brace and a half! I tend not to label folks as beasts, because I don’t want to confuse and scare people, but there really is no better way to describe Clint. He’s a beast.

    • Oh yeah, great article Ives, as usual.

      On that Texeira goal, I think Frei badly misjudged the spin of the ball, and that the wind wasn’t that much of a factor in the mistake.

      • Right – it was the spin of the ball – you could see that by how it was deflected by someone’s foot, and then how it bounced after hitting the ground.

    • Yedlin has been playing bad defense all year. This was no surprise. Still can’t believe Ives put him on the team of the month. Maybe for fantasy soccer.

      • No he hasn’t. He has had zero help form Kenny Cooper the past two games. A little hard to defend 2 v 1’s all night when Cooper starts on the wing.

        Not saying he needs to get better at defending, but he hasn’t been bad defending all season. First three game of the season Yedlin was quite good defensively.

      • Yedlin pushed someone in the back and it was Cooper’s fault? First play of the season he lets a KC guys run right by him. He failed to pick up Defoe in transition whom he was standing right next to. He whiffs on a clearance in the box in Montreal. Do you want more examples? And I didn’t even bring up the Portland game where he got abused 1v1 against Nagbe. I’m sure you’ll blame that on Cooper too.

      • Sure, I’ll take more examples…if you’re going to list all of his defensive actions, not only the bad ones.

        Looking at the whole picture is what goes into statements like 2tone’s, “Not saying he [doesn’t need] to get better at defending, but he hasn’t been bad defending all season.” (I assume the bracketed phrase is what 2tone meant.)

      • Why is Kenny Cooper on the field? And if he has to be on the field, why is he playing right mid? Yedlin is not the problem. He is left hanging out to dry by Cooper.

    • I don’t think two or three above average games out of 15 months qualifies as “red hot” or “breast”. But that’s the media and the kool-aid drinkers for ya.

      • What is your definition then?

        I don’t see the relevance of the past 15 months or 3 weeks or 35 years. If someone is “on” a streak, that is present tense. But sure, one game doesn’t make a streak—as Goldfinger put it, “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

      • Pretty much has gotten 7 points on his efforts alone. The SKC assist where Barrett put it away, last week where he dominated the last 15 minutes and then the Dallas match.

      • Clint has always been a beast, and he’s been playing really good this MLS season, leading the league in goals despite only starting three games.

      • Look at his career. People who were counting him out were way premature as he was hampered by injuries, lack of fitness, and constant adjustment to new teams, teammates, and managers. He is returning to his default position, which can approach beast, especially when playing at a league level lower than what he was used to.

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