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Martins and Dempsey help Sounders overwhelm NYCFC

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports


NEW YORK — It was the usual suspects again for Seattle, but when Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have been so splendid all season, it’s a formula the Sounders will gladly take game after game to get positive results.

Martins’ first of two goals on the night opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and Dempsey added a go-ahead score in the 58th as the Sounders defeated host New York City FC, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 25,384 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

Martins tacked on another goal in the 67th mark to put the game away and subsequently extended the expansion club’s winless streak to an MLS-long seven matches.

With the three scores in the contest, Dempsey and Martins have now combined to be responsible for 11 of the Sounders’ 13 goals on the season so far.

“Nothing surprises me with those two guys,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “They are able to conjure up magical stuff and they are unique and special.”

This was a sentiment shared by NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis as well, as he called the duo “two of the finest strikers in the league right now” during the postgame press conference.

Martins’ first-half goal came on a well-placed through pass from midfielder Marco Pappa as he steadily controlled the ball before slotting it past NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders and into the bottom left corner.

After Mehdi Ballouchy ended a 267-minute goalless drought for NYCFC and equalized the contest in the 54th minute, Dempsey responded shortly after on a slow grounder that rolled just outside of Saunders’ reach and into the net. Pappa provided the assist on this score as well.

“It’s disappointing,” Kreis said on conceding the go-ahead goal. “We need to be better focused. That’s typical, the first 5 minutes after you scored, you get scored on again. We have to do a much better job there.”

Seattle added its exclamation mark about 10 minutes later after Martins received a backheel pass from Dempsey near the midfield and charged into the box before finishing with his left foot.

Martins’ two goals pushed his season total now to a league-leading six while Dempsey has either scored or assisted in all six of the matches he has played for the Sounders so far this season.

“You got two world-class players and if you give them some time and space upfront, they are going to put the ball away,” Saunders said on the two forwards.

NYCFC had its share of chances in the contest as well by taking 20 shots, but Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who posted consecutive shutouts heading into the contest, made 11 saves and made sure the hosts weren’t going to add any further blemish to his team’s MLS-best defense that carried a 0.71 goals against ratio heading into the match.

“Against one of the very best teams in the league that has been carrying on for a very long time, we dictated the tempo of the game, we created the majority of the chances throughout the match,” Kreis said on his takeaways from the game, “but in the end, it was not enough.”

Next up for NYCFC will be a showdown against the New York Red Bulls next Sunday in Harrison, N.J. for the first MLS derby in the metropolitan area. Seattle, meanwhile, will travel to take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday.


  1. The love for Seattle is strong on this site. Two articles that say almost the same thing about their win against NY. And people think LA are the darlings of the league, every other MLS tweet is about SEA. What will the league do if they don’t win the real championship this year (because the Supporter’s Shield is not a championship).

  2. I didn’t see showboating, I saw a lot of one touch and flick passes, but I think that was more because the field is so narrow, If you hold the ball more than a couple seconds there are 2 people on you.

    • And they do that all the time. It isn’t pride or showboating, that is how they play together. Their knowledge of where each other runs is incredible.

  3. Wow long time since I’ve seen a team showboating and disrespecting the opposition like Seattle did. Other teams notice that stuff and they don’t appreciate it. Honestly Saunders was so bad in that game he made Seattle look way better than they were, three saveable shots that all get in? Poor goalkeeping, very poor.

    Pride comes before a fall, watch out Seattle Showboats!

  4. Even when they look pretty good on paper, expansion teams, even with guys like Kaka in Orland, still don’t have enough quality from top to bottom to get enough good results, is how it appears. It wiIl be interesting to see if and if so, how much of a difference Lampard will make.

    • I agree it will be interesting. I would love for someone to blog a old man-DP log.

      Over the age of 35 DPs, XX% washed out. Objective I guess. Has Villa been a success?
      When playing yes.

  5. Fear not, New York!

    I will rewrite the player acquisition rules again so that all of Real Madrid will be transferred to NYCFC come summertime.

    My $100mm baby will NOT miss the playoffs!


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