Clint Dempsey has some unfinished business to tend to.
Before signing with Sounders FC in August, the U.S. National Team captain’s last MLS match came in the 2006 MLS Cup Final against the Houston Dynamo. Hampered by injuries that limited him to just 140 minutes of the New England Revolution’s playoff run that year, Dempsey came on as a second-half substitute, but Houston won in a shootout, handing New England defeat in the second straight MLS Cup.
Now, seven years and a fruitful foray in England later, Dempsey has his sights set on MLS Cup redemption as Sounders FC opens with the Knockout Round match against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field.
“I was fortunate enough to play in a semifinal and two final games. Hopefully I can do one better and we can win a final game here,” Dempsey said. “That is what the goal is, to bring an MLS Cup to this city and we have the quality of a team to get that done. We just need to put together quality performances to get it done.”
On Sunday, Dempsey scored his first goal for Sounders FC in his ninth match in Seattle, giving the club a 1-0 first-half lead. It cracked a scoreless streak for the dynamic attacker and helped give Seattle momentum with the 1-1 draw against LA.
“It was good to see Clint score. I think that was important for him,” Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “It takes a lot of pressure off of him. He’s going to be more confident and that allows us then to make sure that we find him.”
Dempsey came to Seattle as a blockbuster midseason signing after scoring 50 goals over six seasons with Fulham, then seven goals in one season with Tottenham Hotspur. In 2011-2012, he placed fourth in the Premiership Player of the Season after posting 17 goals in 37 matches for his best season as a pro with Fulham, triggering the move to Tottenham. All the while, he amassed 101 caps and 36 goals with the U.S. National Team, climbing through the ranks to wear the captain’s armband under Jurgen Klinsmann.
Dempsey has played in big matches in Europe and on the international level, including scoring in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Now, he will have another big one in MLS when he helps lead Seattle against Colorado in a knockout match on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field.
“We just need to keep working hard and get on a good run. We need to get things right, and we have the quality on this team to do it,” Dempsey said. “I'm not worried about the game from here on out.”
Kickoff for Wednesday’s playoff match is scheduled for 7:30 pm PT. Tickets are available at www.SoundersFC.com or by calling 800-745-3000.