The Seattle Sounders fell behind to Orlando City SC in the seventh minute on Aug. 7, when Seb Hines headed home a Kaka cross to give the hosts an early lead,
But that was all they could muster before it became The Clint Dempsey Show.
The United States international exploded for his second career hat trick with the Sounders and the first in over two years. He equalized in the 14th minute on a low cross from Tyrone Mears, gave the Sounders the lead in the 37th off an unselfish square ball from Jordan Morris and then sealed the 3-1 win with another easy tap-in on a simple ball from Morris on a breakaway in the second half.
Dempsey’s performance was even more impressive considering he played only 59 minutes and recorded his hat trick on just four shots. His movement was as good as it had been all season and his combination play with Morris was equal parts mesmerizing and promising.
The match was the first of a three-game stretch where Dempsey scored five times and had six points, which tied the most in any three-game span during his time in Seattle. The last came between April 12-26, 2014 (four goals, two assists).
Dempsey helped new interim head coach (and now full-time head coach) Brian Schmetzer to his first win in charge after drawing the LA Galaxy the week before. It also started Seattle’s first three-game win streak of the season.
The Orlando City contest would be the third-to-last match he’d play all year, though, as he was sidelined indefinitely with an irregular heartbeat at the end of August.