Clint Dempsey did it again. And he did it in Texas.
For the second straight week, the Seattle Sounders captain led his team to a come-from-behind result, this time scoring two goals in a 3-2 win over previously unbeaten FC Dallas on Saturday in Frisco, Texas, about a three-hour drive from Dempsey’s hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas.
“It’s always good to perform well in Texas, because that's where I developed my game in Nacogdoches and driving to Dallas playing my club ball,” Dempsey told reporters after the game. “A lot of friends and family were here, and it's nice to perform well. But … the most important thing is we got the win for the team, and we need to keep getting points like that. I think you'll see us start to put in better performances, and we'll tighten up and we'll get it right.”
- MLS Match Recap: FC Dallas 2, Seattle Sounders 3
The Sounders were badly outplayed in the first half and may have been a bit lucky to be trailing by just one goal and still have 11 men. Dempsey’s first goal of the match — in the 22nd minute — was the Sounders’ lone bright spot.
With Seattle trailing 1-0, Dempsey stood over a free kick that was positioned about 35 yards out. His strike ricocheted off the underside the crossbar and just crossed the goal line, spinning back into the field of play before Obafemi Martins put away the rebound (it was unclear if the goal would have counted without Martins’ efforts).
The Sounders could not maintain the tie into halftime, however, as DeAndre Yedlin was whistled for a foul in the penalty area, and Michel put away a penalty kick in the 42nd minute to give Dallas the lead and derail the Sounders' plans.
“We were hoping to go into the half tied,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “We were really sort of pissed off that we gave away that penalty right at the end of the first half. We felt if we can get in at halftime 1-1, we improve and do a much better job with the second half.”
Even down by a goal, that’s just what they did, with Dempsey at the heart of it all.
The Sounders dominated the final 45 minutes, getting the equalizer in 76th minute on an own goal from Stephen Keel that was forced by a Dempsey pass.
The Sounders continued to press and were rewarded in the 85th minute when Dempsey worked a beautiful give-and-go with substitute Chad Barrett. From the arc at the top of the penalty area, Dempsey dished to Barrett on the right wing, then broke into the box, got the return pass and roofed his shot to put Seattle in front. Dempsey now has five goals in his last two games and leads MLS with six on the season.
“I'm feeling good,” Dempsey said. “More importantly, we got the win today. It wasn't pretty. I thought Dallas played really well. We've got to work on some things, but I thought we showed a lot of character coming back twice in the game, and ultimately getting the win, so that's a good thing to build upon. We'll sharpen up and get better.”