Clint Dempsey Honored, Seattle Sounders Win Historic Eighth Straight Match

Clint Dempsey
Spread the love

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (Sept. 2, 2018) — Clint Dempsey walked out onto the pitch at CenturyLink Field to a roaring applause.

The applause came from everywhere: his fellow teammates, Sporting Kansas City players and fans from both teams. No matter what jersey Dempsey wore, fans across the United States applauded him. He made his mark on soccer in the United States, whether it was with the U.S. Men’s National Team or in MLS.

Clint Dempsey Honored, Seattle Sounders Extend Unbeaten Run to Eight Games

Dempsey was honored on Saturday before the Sounders took on — and eventually beat — Sporting Kansas City. The veteran striker announced his retirement on Wednesday.

He was given a golden Seattle Sounders scarf, among other tokens of appreciation. He was joined on stage by his wife, Bethany, and four children, Elyse, Jack, Sophia and Clayton.

After Dempsey’s celebration, the Sounders kicked off against Sporting Kansas City. The last time the two sides met was back on April 15, which ended in a 2-2 draw. This time, the ending was different.

Seattle broke the MLS record for most consecutive wins after a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City. Despite a red card given to Chad Marshall in the second half, Seattle remained composed to make history.

Raúl Ruidíaz scored the Sounders’ first goal in the 12th minute. His response came after Diego Rubio scored the opening goal for SKC in the second minute. To begin the second half, the dominoes fell for Seattle, as Graham Zusi committed an own goal in the 56th minute.

Four minutes later, Nicolás Lodeiro buried a penalty kick past Tim Melia.

After the match, Brian Schmetzer, Sounders head coach, said that it “takes an entire group to make this accomplishment.”

“They need to enjoy this moment because it’s pretty special,” Schmetzer said, about breaking the league record. “In a league filled with parity, this is a pretty big accomplishment. It’s going to get harder and harder and harder as more teams come into the league to do this.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Clint is the best player in U.S. Soccer history: Move over, Landon Donovan. This is a bold statement that will be argued for generations to come. Unless Christian Pulisic can win a World Cup, I don’t think he’ll surpass Dempsey either. There was something about Dempsey’s grit that made him so much tougher — and better as a competitor — than Donovan. Imagine having a background like Dempsey’s, having all of the odds stacked against you, but end up making history in the United States and overseas. Enjoy retirement, Deuce. You deserve it.
  2. VAR needs to sharpen up: There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done with the video assistant referee. After about three minutes of waiting around, Chad Marshall received a red card from the referee. It took the referee three minutes to decide to even go the route of VAR. The league needs to be better, even if the red card was deserved.
  3. Ruidíaz is Seattle’s best attacker: There could be an argument for Lodeiro here, but really the Uruguayan is a play-maker. While Lodeiro sets up plays, Ruidíaz finishes them. The Peruvian had four shots in total against Sporting Kansas City. With two veteran national team defenders in Zusi and Matt Besler, that’s tricky to do.

 

PHOTO: Clint Dempsey claps at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, after he was honored for his legacy in the sport of soccer. The Sounders, after Dempsey’s celebration, defeated Sporting Kansas City to mark eight straight wins. Photo courtesy of  Mike Fiechtner/Seattle Sounders FC.