SEATTLE -- Clint Dempsey scored the game’s only goal in the 36th minute, pacing the Seattle Sounders to a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon.
The longtime U.S. Men's national team staple cashed home the game-winning tally after Jordan Morris lofted in a cross from the right flank that sailed over the head of Will Bruin and directly into the path of Dempsey, who hit a perfectly placed header past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia and into the net. Neither side would manage to find the net after that, affording Seattle all three points and extending the club’s current unbeaten streak to eight matches.
Deuce is loose
Dempsey was already in the midst of one of his best runs of form as a Sounder going into the match and he kept the good times rolling with Saturday’s game-winner. The goal brought his season total into double digits with a team-leading 10 and also marked his sixth tally in his last five games. Combined with his recent stint with the U.S. national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 34-year-old has seven goals and five assists over his last eight matches for club and country. To top it all off, his game-winner marked the 50th of his Rave Green career, joining Fredy Montero as the only player in club history with 50 or more goals as a Sounder.
Return of the Captain
Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso hadn’t played for Seattle since spraining his MCL in the Sounders’ 3-1 road victory over the Colorado Rapids on July 4. On Saturday, the Sounders got their captain back as Alonso entered the match as a 58th-minute substitute, replacing forward Will Bruin. The Cuban midfielder still has some work to do before he gets to full match fitness, but seeing him put in his first shift coming off the injury was nonetheless a positive for the Sounders and head coach Brian Schmetzer.
The last time the Sounders played Sporting Kansas City, they were blown out 3-0 at Children’s Mercy Park on May 17. They made amends thanks to Dempsey’s goal, which was the first time the Sounders had scored against SKC in 363 minutes dating back to September 2015. The victory also pulled Seattle even with SKC at the top of the Western Conference table for the time being with 37 points and moved their overall record to 10-7-7. Additionally, the win ended SKC's nine-match unbeaten streak and moved the Sounders to 5-0-3 in their last eight matches.