Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy
September 21, 2013, 7:30 pm PT; StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network; 97.3 FM; La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish)
On Saturday when Sounders FC faces the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center, it could mark the first time Clint Dempsey meets U.S. teammates Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez. While less than two weeks earlier they were teammates fighting together to help the U.S. National Team qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Dempsey has no problem putting that allegiance aside when he suits up for his club.
To Dempsey, the faces on the other side of the ball are never a deterrent.
“It’s the same as playing against anybody. It’s not any more special. When you’re playing against people, they’re your opponents,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s my brother or if it’s my mom, it’d be the same. I’d want to win.”
Seattle has done just that since Dempsey joined the team on August 3. Since his signing was announced prior to Sounders FC’s 3-0 win over Dallas, the club has climbed to the top of the table with a 7-1-0 record, going 4-1-0 in his five matches. That success has come with a much more miserly approach on the defensive side, but also with a more dynamic attack, centered around the playmaking abilities of Dempsey.
That team-wide success and Dempsey’s overtly competitive nature have kept Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid from getting concerned that Dempsey has yet to put himself on the scoresheet.
“That’s something we don’t need to worry about. His goals will come. If he saves all his goals for the playoffs, I’m ok with that, too,” Schmid said. “He’ll get his goals.”
Dempsey doesn’t intend to change his approach in matches to find goals. He is both knowledgeable that his play has been beneficial to the team and patient that his work will eventually lead to goals for both him and his teammates.
“They will come when they come. All you can do is work hard and if I’m putting in a good shift every time that I’m on the field, that’s all that I can control,” he said. “As long as you’re getting chances and creating chances for other people, those are the only ways those things are going to happen for you. I feel like I’ve been doing that in games and it’s just a matter of time.”
Dempsey has scored everywhere he has ever played. He has 36 goals in 101 matches for the U.S. National Team to go with his seven goals in 29 matches with Tottenham, 50 goals in 184 matches at Fulham and 25 goals in 71 matches with the New England Revolution.
Schmid acknowledged that pressure is likely mounting on the 30-year-old superstar, but noted that usually the best way to relieve that isn’t to try harder, but rather to relax.
“He wants to do well and anybody who is used to scoring goals, the pressure builds a little bit,” Schmid said. “But sometimes you just have to let the steam off a little bit and relax and when you least expect it all of a sudden it happens for you.”