Match analysis: Dempsey goal gives Seattle 1-0 win over Chivas

Seattle Sounders FC put in a complete performance against Chivas de Guadalajara as they thrilled the home crowd with a 1-0 win. Both sides played aggressively and the game became an end-to-end affair for much of the second half. A strong defensive performance from Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei helped Seattle keep a clean sheet while it was Clint Dempsey who would score the winner in the 78th minute.

Chivas opened the match with intense pressure on the ball, forcing Seattle into mistakes early on. Eleven minutes into the match Alejandro Mayorga slipped into the box in front of the Seattle defense to register the first shot of the match. Stefan Frei had to make himself big to make the save and then paw away the rebound and keep a clean sheet.

In the 33rd minute a slip by Roman Torres gave Alan Pulido a one-on-one opportunity versus Frei and it looked like Chivas would take the lead. Pulido’s final touch was too strong and allowed Frei enough time to close down on the ball an deny Pulido from finding the net.

Seattle seemed to wake up after the Pulido chance as they began to gain more possession and create chances although the chances were further from goal and didn’t trouble keeper Rodolfo Cota.

Don’t miss: In pictures – Seattle Sounders 1-0 Chivas Guadalajara

The second half seemed the exact opposite as Seattle came out as the team pressuring the ball and forcing the issue looking to take the match in their control. Seattle did well to cut down passing lanes and frustrate Guadalajara when in possession to force turnovers. They attacked Chivas down the wings, stretching the defence and creating gaps in the box that would eventually give them the opening goal.

Henry Wingo came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute for Handwalla Bwana, who had an impressive performance in his first start, and made an immediate impact on the wing. Wingo was able to consistently get dangerous balls into the box from out wide and pick out players in open space. In the 78th minute Wingo makes a run towards the corner flag into space and receives a pass from Jordan McCrary. He lets the ball run until about five yards from the endline before whipping in a low cross right in between four Guadalajara players to the feet of Dempsey for a first-time strike past Cota.

Through much of the second half, Guadalajara left space open around the top of the box and were beat to crosses as Sounders began to take control of the match. Dempsey had two other chances that looked similar to the play he was able to score on, where a cross from a wide area pulled Chivas out of position and allowed Seattle to find Dempsey for a scoring opportunity. The third of these chances came in the 82nd minute and it looked as though Dempsey would have a wide open goal to target but his shot was skied over the bar.

Seattle will hope the missed opportunities do not come back to haunt them in the second leg as they travel to Guadalajara Wednesday March 14th looking for a result that will send them to the CCL semifinals for the second time in club history.

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Gallery: Dempsey double fires Sounders past Whitecaps and into Conference Final

The Seattle Sounders have moved one step closer to retaining their MLS Cup title. The reigning champions outclassed the Vancouver Whitecaps in Thursday’s Western Conference Semifinal second-leg, winning 2-0 thanks to a Clint Dempsey brace.

The veteran attacker was playing his first playoff game in almost two years but rose to the occasion in fine style. The game was tense, as expected following the scoreless draw in the first leg at BC Place.

It was going to take a moment of magic to breakthrough and that’s exactly what the hosts provided just 10 minutes into the second-half. Five Sounders were involved in a fast and intricate passing move, which ended with Dempsey firing past Stefan Marinovic.

The ‘Caps never really threatened to get back into the game. At 1-0 down, they needed just the one goal to put themselves in the driving seat. But they were unable to find the goal and were punished late on as Dempsey sealed the win.

A short corner led to a fine Victor Rodriguez cross, which Dempsey tapped in at the back post. He had two. The Sounders were through. Vancouver will be disappointed they failed to score in either leg, but they can still look back on what was a promising season.

Check out exclusive photos from Thursday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

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Gallery: Exclusive photos from Seattle Sounders’ 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt

Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon in an international friendly at CenturyLink Field.

With MLS currently on a two-week break due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Saturday’s friendly gave the Sounders squad the chance to ensure they maintain their match fitness. They don’t play again now until their home clash with DC United on July 19.

Eintracht Frankfurt are currently preparing for the upcoming 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign. They won their first preseason outing 15-0 against SV Heftrich on Tuesday before flying to the USA.

Their clash with the Sounders was their first proper test of the summer. While they still have games against San Jose and Columbus to come before heading back to Germany.

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US International Timmy Chandler played for the visitors in Saturday’s draw. He sent the cross in that lead to Branimir Hrgota’s opening goal in the 29th minute.

But Frankfurt’s lead was short lived as Clint Dempsey kept his hot streak going by netting on the stroke of halftime. Nicolas Lodeiro picked up the assist.

Check out exclusive photos below from Saturday’s game between Seattle Sounders and Eintracht Frankfurt, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Paul Kahl.

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Gallery: Exclusive photos from Seattle Sounders’ 2-1 win over RSL on Sunday

The Seattle Sounders continued their late-season resurgence with a 2-1 home win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening, with Nicolas Lodeiro impressing again in his third appearance for the club.

Seattle are now five points off the playoff places in the Western Conference and have now gone unbeaten through three-straight games for just the second time this term.

The arrival of Designated Player Lodeiro has given the Sounders hope that they can still make the top six after what has been a turbulent campaign. He netted his first MLS goal on Sunday, before teeing up Jordan Morris for the second.

RSL, meanwhile, continue to be hampered by inconsistency. They have only won two of their last ten but are still in a strong position, as they sit fourth in the West.

Joao Plata’s goal gave them a glimmer of hope on Sunday but that chance came from a real defensive mix-up from Seattle, with Stefan Frei dropping the ball at Yura Movsisyan’s feet before Plata eventually tapped in.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Denise McCooey.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Sounders fans

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Nicolas Lodeiro Celebrates Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Jordan Morris Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Dempsey, Morris and Lodeiro Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Stefan Frei Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Plata Scores Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Joao Plata Celebrates

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Clint Dempsey

Sigi Schmid “very proud” after Sounders’ 2-2 draw with Club America

The CONCACAF Champions League sprung back into life on Tuesday night with the first legs of the quarterfinals getting underway. Seattle Sounders earned a 2-2 draw at home to Club America in what was their first competitive match of 2016, with Clint Dempsey scoring both of the Sounders’ goals.

Seattle had the daunting prospect of hosting reigning champions Club America in a tricky looking game but will be pleased with their performance, even if the result wasn’t what they wanted.

Dempsey’s performance in particular will have delighted the capacity crowd of 42,836 at CenturyLink Field – a club record for a CONCACAF Champions League match – with the forward looking very sharp on either side of the ball.

His excellent free-kick before halftime put Seattle in front, before a very quick response from the Liga MX giants made it 1-1 at the break. Dempsey then headed the Rave Green back in front in the 52nd minute, only for Oribe Peralta to net a valuable second goal for Club America.

Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid was pleased with the performance of his players, despite letting a lead go twice at home, and thinks there are positives to take from the game heading into the second-leg.

“Obviously there are things we want to get better at moving forward, and we will,” he said after the game. “For this stage of our season, and for where they are in their season, and the quality of team they are, I thought we showed well. I was very proud with what our guys did.

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“I think Clint played very well. He’s coming off the left for us – we were trying to give him some spaces there in the first half – and we needed [Andreas] Ivanschitz to push a little wider left to allow Clint to stay up higher. In the second half, he was able to stay higher, so more of his touches came in the attacking end of the field. Those are tweaks in the system that we are working on and getting better with.”

Seattle will travel to Mexico for the second-leg of their clash with Club America next Wednesday before hosting Sporting KC in their 2016 MLS opener on Sunday, March 6.

Were you impressed with Seattle’s performance against Club America on Tuesday night?

*Header image courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC. Photo taken by Jane Gershovich.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Wednesday, May 27 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Colorado 4/1

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host Colorado Rapids in a key Western Conference clash on Wednesday night in the first of two games for both clubs this week.

The Sounders are preparing for the second of three straight home games, and will be hoping to do better against the Rapids than they did in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City.

Head coach Sigi Schmid labelled that draw as disappointing and he knows that his side need to be picking up maximum points from their game on Wednesday, with a tricky game against New York Red Bulls in store on Sunday night.

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

The Sounders have only lost one of their last six and go into the game in good confidence despite the draw at the weekend. Obafemi Martins missed a second straight game on Saturday and supporters will hope he’s back in the team in time for kickoff.

Colorado Rapids head to Seattle in good confidence themselves despite still sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference after 12 weeks.

Saturday’s 1-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps was their first in five but they have not lost any of those games after recording four consecutive 1-1 draws prior to that win at the weekend.

The Rapids have not lost an away game this season and have already beaten FC Dallas 4-0 on the road. They will be out for revenge against Seattle after losing the reverse fixture at the start of the month.

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Seattle beat Colorado 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 9 and the Sounders have now won the past five meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Seattle have doubts hanging over two of their star players as Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall could both miss the game. Chad Barrett will be hoping to play a third straight game in attack if Martins doesn’t make the starting lineup.

Colorado Rapids have one injury concern as Marcelo Sarvas is still out. Kevin Doyle made his debut off the bench in Saturday’s game and will be pushing for a start, with Luc Solignac also pressing for a game.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/L/W/D

Colorado Rapids’ last five: D/D/D/D/W

Key Stat: There have been 23 goals in the last six games between these two sides, an average of 3.8 per game.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – Difficult to overlook the Sounders attacker, especially at home. He scored three times in the two home games against Colorado last season and will look to get back on the scoresheet in this one.

Clint Dempsey warms up before the Sounders game against Sporting KC (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Clint Dempsey warms up before the Sounders game against Sporting KC (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-2 Colorado Rapids – Seattle are overwhelming favourites for the win but the Rapids have proven to be tough to beat, especially on the road. There should be goals in this one but if Seattle are missing Marshall and Martins, they may struggle to pick up all three points.

Dempsey fails to equal MLS record as Sounders left “disappointed”

Seattle Sounders were left disappointed following their 0-0 home draw with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, and the goalless draw means Clint Dempsey failed to equal an MLS record.

The 32-year-old attacker went into the game with a goal or assist in ten consecutive games, and was just one game from tying the record of 11 straight games.

Roy Lassiter, Ronald Cerritos and Mauricio Cienfuegos all picked up a goal or an assist in eleven straight games at the end of the nineties but Dempsey was unable to join them.

Sporting Kansas City travelled to CenturyLink Field to take on the Sounders after a midweek win against New England Revolution and despite being underdogs they were able to hold out for a point.

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Sporting KC frustrated Seattle and limited their Western Conference rivals to just one shot on target, preventing Dempsey from taking his place in the record books.

“We’re disappointed with the tie at home,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said after the game.

“We always want to win when we’re at home. I thought we had more possession, they played certainly deeper right from the beginning of the game. In a game like this you’re not going to get 10 or 15 chances. You’re only going to get one or two and you need to finish them when you can. That didn’t fall for us today.”

Sigi Schmid looks on during Seattle's game against Sporting Kansas City (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Sigi Schmid looks on during Seattle’s game against Sporting Kansas City (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Dempsey wasn’t helped by the absence of Obafemi Martins once again this week as the striking duo have built up an impressive partnership and without the Nigerian, the USMNT star’s options are limited in the final third.

Dempsey and his Seattle teammates return to action on Wednesday night against the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field and will be hoping to return to winning ways.

How disappointed will Clint Dempsey be with not entering the record books? Was the draw a bad result for Seattle?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday May 23rd – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting Kansas City11/4

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders entertain Sporting Kansas City to CenturyLink Field in what has the potential to be one of the best games of the weekend.

This is the first of three home games for Sounders and Sigi Schmid’s side come into the game off the back of an away win against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Seattle are sitting third in the Western Conference having played 10, winning six, drawing one and losing three games.

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Obafemi Martins could miss this one. His lethal partnership with Clint Dempsey is proving to be unplayable and the pressure is on Dempsey to provide.

Sporting Kansas City come into this one after an impressive 4-2 over New England Revolution on Wednesday.

Peter Vermes will be delighted with the way his side’s has started the season and will be hoping for a positive result here to show they’re capable of maintaining a push for the playoffs.

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Benny Feilhaber has been in inspired form this season and is pushing for a call-up for the Gold Cup. He has scored three and created six already.

Team News

Seattle Sounders will probably be without Obafemi Martins which is a huge blow as he has scored six goals this season and Chad Marshall is a doubt.

Sporting Kansas City are littered with injuries. Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic and Chance Myers are all out. Roger Espinoza, Paulo Nagamura and Bernardo Anor are all doubts while Marcel de Jong and Graham Zusi will be pushing for a start.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/W/D/W

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Seattle have won 7 of their last 8 matches against Kansas City in all competitions.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – the prolific number two will be expected to step-up in the absence of his strike partner.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – Sounders to edge a tough tie against a good Kansas City side struggling with injuries.

Do the Seattle Sounders rely too heavily on their stars?

Seattle Sounders returned to winning ways this weekend against the Houston Dynamo but they created significantly less than their opponents and over-reliance on stars could be a worry.

Seattle had just five shots in the whole game, compared to Dynamo’s 15, but both sides had just two on target.

The Sounders won the game by a single goal from Obafemi Martins on his return to the starting lineup, taking him level with strike partner Clint Dempsey on three goals for the season.

Obafemi Martins’ goal vs. Houston (via Seattle Sounders on YouTube):

Martins and Dempsey have scored all of Seattle’s six goals so far and it is clear that the team wouldn’t be able to cope without their Designated Players.

The Sounders looked a completely different outfit with the return of their big name forwards compared to last week’s 0-0 draw with FC Dallas. The concern is that they could seriously struggle if a long-term injury is sustained by either, or both of their star strikers.

Osvaldo Alonso also returned to the side to make his first start this season in Saturday’s win against Houston and head coach Sigi Schmid will hope that having all three DP’s back in the team will lead to a good run of form.

While it is clear that Designated Players are meant to make the difference for their teams, the worry with Seattle is that the overall squad depth seems to be lacking at this early stage of the season.

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It could be match fitness, but relying on key individuals to drag you through a season is not the sort of recipe that leads to MLS Cup success, and that is the aim for the Sounders.

They will face their toughest test of the season so far in their next fixture against MLS Cup holders and Western Conference rivals, LA Galaxy, away at the StubHub Centre on Sunday, April 12.

Neither side has been able to show their superiority in MLS so far this season and so next weekend’s clash is an important one.

Are the Seattle Sounders over-reliant on Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey?

Sounders hope returning stars can prove to be the difference

Seattle Sounders were depleted due to injuries as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw against ten-man FC Dallas last weekend. Players were away on international duty or out injured and so head coach Sigi Schmid had to field a number of reserve players and youngsters.

Their makeshift team put in a solid display against Dallas but will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening.

Sounders were without key players, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Marshall, who were all absent through injury, but they are all in line to return this weekend.

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Marco Pappa also missed out as he featured for national side Guatemala, and he will also be available for selection for the weekend’s clash with Houston.

Clint Dempsey has declared himself fit for the game despite withdrawing from the US Men’s National Team squad with a hamstring problem, as reported by MLSsoccer.com.

“I feel good, I was able to get some good training sessions in this week. I’ve been back in full training for a few days now, and I’m looking forward to the weekend, I’ll be wanting to start.”

The other member of Sounders’ deadly strike force, Obafemi Martins, tweaked his quad in the clubs’ friendly against Club Tijuana but he has said he is feeling good ahead of the game.

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“I’m good. A lot better now. It was good for me to rest it because I was feeling a lot of pain. Now, I’m ready to go.”

Sounders will welcome the return of their key men but it is worrying how much quality they lacked without their stars last time out.

The 2014 MLS Supporters’ Shield winners haven’t won since the opening weekend and will see Saturday’s game with Houston as a great opportunity to get three points on the board.

Will the Seattle Sounders return to winning ways after welcoming back their stars?