Dempsey heads back home to New England, but will the Dorman let him in?

By Simon Pyne

Clint Dempsey will be going back to his old team, New England Revolution, on Sunday as a Seattle Sounder, for the first MLS game he has played there since 2006. This will also be the first time he has played against them.

He left the Revs to go to the English Premier League and successfully play for Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur before heading back to MLS with the Sounders, where he is currently displaying scintillating form.

He is already amongst the early contenders for the Golden Boot and so far is showing no let up in his endeavor to succeed back in MLS.

The Sounders have had a great start to the season and are forging ahead at the top of the Western Conference with 22 points collected from 10 games played.

They have scored 11 home goals and 11 goals on the road, and won their last five games so they will be heading into this game instilled with confidence.

The Sounders form needs no introduction, they are playing some great football at the moment and their flowing attacking style is a joy to behold.

Embed from Getty Images

(Dempsey will look to get all three points with the Sounders when he returns to New England on Sunday)

The Revs will not be a walkover however, these may be billed as the underdogs but they are stiff opposition for sure.

They have not let a goal in at the Gillette Stadium this season and haven’t lost in their last four games.

They come into this tie with back-to-back wins over Toronto and Kansas and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, tied with Kansas and Houston so they will be keen to take three points from this tie.

The Revs showed their spirit last week against Toronto, as they came from a goal down to steal all the points with a 2-1 victory. The first time they have ever won at BMO Field, and it was well deserved.

One Revs player who knows Dempsey well enough is defender Andy Dorman as the Welsh international played with Dempsey for over two seasons with the Revs and will have a good insight into what makes the Sounders playmaker tick.

Dorman has also played in England, for Crystal Palace, and in Scotland for St Mirren before returning to MLS in 2013.

Dorman’s return to the Revs as holding midfielder has coincided with them shoring up their defence, and should prove a fair challenge for the Sounders cavalier attackers to try and breach.

If the Revs can steal an early goal they may well try to park the bus across the front of goal.

Though if the Sounders go in front it should be a real ding-dong battle to take the points in this epic tie.

You can see the game on Sunday at 23:00pm UK time.

Advertisements

Seattle leave it late again as they overcome FC Dallas

By Zack Walford

Seattle Sounders open up a five point lead at the top of the Western Conference, coming from behind to beat FC Dallas 2-1 at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night.

Kenny Cooper scored the winning goal in the 87th minute, netting against his former club to seal all three points for the Sounders, taking their tally to seven wins from ten.

Dallas took the lead in the 13th minute from the penalty spot, after Brad Evans brought down Blas Perez, following a tangle of legs.

Brazilian born Michel stepped up for Dallas and slotted home his penalty, leaving Stefan Frei marooned in the middle of the Seattle goal.

The Sounders responded well though as they tested Dallas goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez, on several occasions.

Clint Dempsey’s free kick looked to be heading in, but his effort was spectacularly saved by the Peruvian keeper.

Despite holding on and taking their 1-0 lead into halftime, FC Dallas stepped off the gas and allowed Seattle too much space in the second-half.

Former Birmingham City striker, Obafemi Martins, found space in behind the Dallas defence and was able to pick out Lamar Neagle at the near post, as he tapped home the equaliser for his fourth of the season on his 27th birthday.

The goal inspired Seattle, as the crowd became louder and sensed that there were more goals on offer as Dallas looked deflated.

Embed from Getty Images

(Seattle fans are enjoying their teams performances this season)

The Sounders went close with a effort through Mexican midfielder Gonzalo Pineda in the 65th minute, again bringing a save from Fernandez.

Seattle continued to knock on the door of FC Dallas but Fernandez wasn’t letting anybody in, as he performed a superb reflex save to deny Dempsey from close range after Osvaldo Alonso’s long range effort was parried onto the post.

FC Dallas’ resistance was finally broken in the 87th minute with another dangerous, low cross from Martins finding former Dallas striker Kenny Cooper who slotted the ball home with his first touch of the game.

The goal sent Seattle fans into raptures, but there were just muted celebrations from the man who spent three years at the Toyota Stadium between 2006-2009.

There was a late chance for Dallas In the 94th minute, as captain Matt Hedgers sent his header over the bar following a cross from Dallas goalscorer Michel.

The win leaves FC Dallas in third place on 16 points, six points behind Western Conference leaders Seattle on 22.

FC Dallas will aim to bounce back away to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, whilst the Seattle Sounders travel to the Gillette Stadium to play New England Revolution on Sunday.

 

America waits as Klinsmann prepares to name his World Cup squad

By Jamie Ives

Jurgen Klinsmann is set to announce his preliminary 30-man squad for this summer’s World Cup on Monday and we will take a look at who we think will make this and the eventual 23-man squad that will fly out to Brazil next month.

There are obvious inclusions who we should assume are already on the plane, with Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey likely to have already packed a suitcase.

Though the less obvious, “wildcard” selections will prove to be a major talking point and there are several players that fall into this category.

Goalkeepers:

Predicted: Tim Howard (Everton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Outsiders: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire).

Expect Klinsmann to pick his experienced goalkeepers, especially with such dangerous opposition in the group. Howard is first choice and it would be surprising if Guzan or Rimando were to see a minute of action in Brazil. Howard has kept 14 clean sheets this year for Everton and has been consistent in the Premier League for over seven years now. These ‘keepers pick themselves.

Embed from Getty Images

(Tim Howard will be kept busy in a very tough group for the US)

Defenders:

Predicted: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders).

Outsiders: John Brooks (Hertha BSC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Tim Ream (Bolton).

Besides the usual names of Gonzalez and Besler the defenders will be tricky to whittle down. DaMarcus Beasley is experienced but question marks lie over his fitness. Geoff Cameron has to go for me as he can also play in midfield. Don’t be surprised if Brad Evans sneaks onto the plane as he’s been in fine form for Seattle this season.

Embed from Getty Images

(Geoff Cameron’s versatility will be vital in the hot Brazilian climate)

Midfielders:

Predicted: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Fabian Johnson (1899 Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).

Outsiders: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg), Daniel Williams (Reading).

Expect Donovan and Bradley to play almost every minute as they will be needed if the USMNT are to have any chance of getting out of the group. Klinsmann will want his stars on the field at all times. The likes of Zusi and Johnson will become important if they manage to make it out of the group.

Embed from Getty Images

(Landon Donovan will need to be at his best to inspire the side going forward)

Forwards:

Predicted: Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United).

Outsiders: Aron Johannsson, (AZ), Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

The nation’s hopes hang on the form of Clint Dempsey, he has been on fire for the Sounders this season, but the World Cup is the biggest stage on the planet. He will need to find a way of troubling the likes of Mertesacker and Pepe to enjoy any success. Eddie Johnson has struggled so far this campaign, but his physical presence should see him make the squad. Chris Wondolowski, or ‘Wondo’ will be hoping to make the squad but San Jose’s poor form could affect his chances.

Embed from Getty Images

(Will Dempsey be able to take his remarkable MLS form into the World Cup?)

 

Who do you think will make the squad?