Dempsey's first-half header gave Seattle all the offense they needed to beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, moving the home side into a share of the lead with the visitors.
The victory extended the Sounders' unbeaten streak to eight matches, with four straight clean sheets for Stefan Frei, and ended Sporting's run at nine without a loss in MLS play and 13 across all competitions.
Sporting arrived with five changes in the lineup from Wednesday's grueling Lamar Hunt US Open Cup semifinal victory over San Jose. They still managed a solid job of controlling possession and tempo through the first half-hour. But in the 36th minute, Jordan Morris got plenty of space on the right flank to send in a perfect cross that Dempsey nodded down and in for his sixth goal in four matches and 10th of the season.
- 36' - SEA - Clint Dempsey (WATCH)
- DEUCE ON THE LOOSE: No, really. Dempsey is on a tear right now, with six goals in his last five matches and 10 on the season. Oh, and he also grabbed a share of the US men's national team's career scoring lead this summer. That’s not what you might expect from a lot of 34-year-olds, especially from one who was sidelined down the stretch last season with an irregular heartbeat -- but Deuce shows no sign of letting up.
- THEY'RE BA-ACK: Osvaldo Alonso and Lamar Neagle both returned to the pitch for Seattle on Saturday, the former after four matches off with a knee sprain and Neagle -- now in his fourth stint in Seattle -- after spending the last one-and-a-half seasons with D.C. United. Alonso came in near the hour mark, while Neagle entered for Morris in stoppage time.
- FIRST ABSENCE, FIRST START: Defensive midfielder Ilie, who had played every minute of every match until Saturday, was one of the players held out by SKC head coach Peter Vermes in the wake of Wednesday's marathon Open Cup match. James Musa, signed late in the week from USL affiliate Swope Park Rangers, made his Sporting debut as part of Vermes' shuffled lineup.
- SEA - vs. Minnesota United, Sun., Aug. 20, 9:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
- SKC - vs. FC Dallas, Sat., Aug. 19, 8:30 p.m. ET (MLS LIVE)