Clint Dempsey Picking Up Steam at the Right Time

Clint Dempsey

After yet another magnificent performance this past weekend for Seattle Sounders FC, it looks as if United States Men’s National Team captain, Clint Dempsey, is heating up at the right time.

Dempsey has simply been sensational on the pitch for Seattle this entire season and is has everyone who follows US Soccer wondering if the 2004 MLS Rookie of the Year is back to top form.

After signing with Seattle in 2013 Dempsey had a very slow, and rather disappointing 2013 campaign in which we saw the USMNT captain find the back of the net only once in nine MLS games, no assists, and a Western Conference Semifinals exit thanks to Portland Timbers FC.

Many started questioning Dempsey’s abilities; not only had he been underachieving in Seattle, he also stopped performing while playing for the national team. After a disappointing loss to Ukraine in March, many began to debate Dempsey’s interest and passion for the game, as well as his captainship for the upcoming World Cup.

However, despite the negativity, Dempsey continues to prove everyone wrong.

Looks like Dempsey’s 2014 MLS Season is shaping up to be one of the best to date. Eight weeks into the season, the USMNT Captain already has eight goals, three assists, and two Player of the Week honors, in only six games in which he played. He also leads the league is goals (8), shots (30), and shots on goal (14).

Dempsey recorded his first hat trick of the season in week five as he let the Sounders to a thrilling 4-4 draw against rivals Portland Timbers. He recorded the game-tying goal.

With his team down 4-2 in the 85th minute, Dempsey took matters into his own hand as he collected a Lamar Neagle cross and chipped it over Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber, and then less than two minutes later conversted the game-tying penalty kick.

Then in week six versus FC Dallas, Dempsey once again showed why he is one of the best players in MLS by being in the center of all of Seattle’s goals as the Sounders took a 3-2 road victory.

With FC Dallas leading 1-0 in the 22nd minute, Dempsey leveled the score on a spectacular, 35-yard free kick that bounced off the crossbar and into the net.

Then the 75th minute with Dallas leading 2-1, Dempsey sent in a dangerous cross that deflected off FC Dallas defender Stephen Keel for an own goal. Dempsey continued his top form late into the match, finishing off a nice give-and-go sequence with Sounders FC forward Chad Barrettin the 85th minute to seal the win in his home state.

Then this past week, Dempsey was once again brilliant for Seattle as they defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-1. Dempsey’s footprints were all over the game, first in the 45th minute when he went around the keeper and passed the ball to a wide-open Lamar Neagle for the score.

Then in the 47th minute after a sensational heel pass, Dempsey grabs the rebound to make it 2-nil for Seattle, and five minutes later Deuce’s header gave the Sounders the 3-nil lead.

This is why Seattle spent all that money on him, no one in MLS can match Dempsey’s level of play right now.

Simply put the best player in MLS.

“It’s getting a little stupid to be honest,” writes Goal USA‘s Allen Ramsey. “Eight goals in five starts for the Sounders, two more against the Rapids, and in the end you felt like he should have had at least one more. The combination of Dempsey and Obafemi Martins is, at the moment, just too good for MLS teams to deal with.”

Dempsey is cranking it up at just the right time, not only for Seattle Sounders FC, but also for the USMNT as they are a few weeks away from Brazil and the Group of Death.

What do you think of Dempsey’s play so far this season?

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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