TUKWILA, Wash. – Clint Dempsey’s 25-yard free kick may have been nominated for Goal of the Week, but it was another Seattle Sounders strike that seemingly everyone wanted to talk about. And it wasn’t just because it was the game-winner against FC Dallas.
Dempsey’s second goal featured an eight-pass buildup in which seven different players got a touch. The sequence was capped off by Dempsey working a perfect give-and-go with Chad Barrett.
“Those are the kind of goals you want to score,” said Dempsey, who now leads MLS with six goals. “It’s good movement, unselfish play and good goals.”
The scoring sequence started simply enough. The Sounders had a free kick around midfield with DeAndre Yedlin and Gonzalo Pineda probing. Osvaldo Alonso got the ball moving forward with a long, field-switching pass to Marco Pappa on the left wing.
Pappa controlled and dribbled toward the center of the park, before using the outside of his left boot to send it to Obafemi Martins at the top of the penalty area. Martins made a partially blind, one-touch pass to Dempsey and then peeled away toward the goal.
Dempsey took a couple touches, attracting two defenders and freeing up Barrett along the right side of the penalty area. Almost as soon as the space opened up, Dempsey sent his pass to Barrett and crashed the goal.
“Clint passed the ball out and you can see that I took a couple steps and was getting ready to take the shot,” Barrett said when asked to describe the goal. “But right before I do that, [FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris] Seitz is shuffling his feet and I give one last look up and see that Clint has a step on his guy. Seitz was out of position. Clint, as long as I put the ball on his foot, I know he’s going to score especially with the form he’s in right now and Clint does what he does best.”
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What Dempsey is doing better than anyone these days is finding the back of the net, which is exactly what he did with Barrett’s return pass.
While it may have just been one goal and it may have just secured three points, the Sounders seem to believe it could be even more important than that.
“You always build off good moments,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “These are good moments and you want to replicate those. Our spacing is still important. Our guys have a better understanding of where they want the ball.”