Clint Dempsey scored twice in Seattle's 3-2 win over Dallas, proving that he is absolutely back in form. And with the World Cup two months away, his timing couldn't be better.
Dempsey's first goal of the night came in the form of a perfect free kick from distance that just curled over Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz's outstretched glove and clipped the bottom of the crossbar to land on the exciting side of the goal line. This pulled Seattle even with Dallas, who first scored in the 10th minute. Dempsey's second goal didn't come until the 85th minute, but it proved to be the winner.
The U.S. captain has now scored six goals in his last three matches to lead MLS. His streak was put on pause before it really started since he was suspended for two matches after slapping an opponent in the crotch, but upon making his return he has only gotten better. A hat trick against Portland and now a brace against Dallas shows that he has completely moved past the 14-match goal drought that stretched from last October to March of this year.
When Dempsey returned to MLS with Seattle midway through last season after seven years in the Premier League, he was clearly off his game. As the league's highest paid player (he's making more this season than 15 entire MLS rosters) the pressure was on, but he only managed one goal in 12 appearances. He then elected to return to Fulham for a brief loan spell in January and failed to score in seven appearances while looking like a shell of the man who scored 23 goals for the club in 2011/12.
His poor performances bled into his appearances for the U.S. national team, prompting fears that the country's captain wouldn't be up to the monumental task of playing in a group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana this summer. But as it turns out, Dempsey was just getting all of
On Tuesday, Dempsey discussed his struggles with the press and said he's finally made it back to the top of the mountain. From the Seattle Times:
“I think for me it was the opportunity to go on loan to get my body right,” he said. “It really helped me in terms of coming back here and feeling sharp and hitting the ground running. I think it was difficult for me playing catch-up a little bit coming off preseason with Tottenham and trying to jump into a league where everybody was already past midseason form [last year], and adjusting to playing games and the travel and the turf — the toll that it takes on you. I picked up a few injuries and it just seemed like I was always trying to climb a mountain to get things right. But now I feel good. I feel like I’m in a rhythm."
So after giving U.S. and Seattle fans a bit of a scare, the old Clint Dempsey is back and he looks ready for Brazil.
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