SBI MLS Player of the Week: Clint Dempsey

ClintDempseySeattleSounders2-TFC2014 (USATodaySports)

By RYAN TOLMICH

The beginning of Clint Dempsey’s time in Seattle was, by most accounts, underwhelming.

Despite the lofty price tag, the American international failed to live up to his paycheck in his opening campaign. Scoring just one goal in his first nine matches was ruled unacceptable. His time on loan in Fulham was viewed as falling short. His lack of production leading up to this summer’s World Cup left many wondering how much impact the Texan would bring against the world’s top teams. Overall, Dempsey was struggling over a period of time where he needed to be thriving.

However, Dempsey’s performance in this weekend’s 4-4 draw with the rival Portland Timbers surely quieted critics and served as a demonstration of exactly what the Sounders star brings to the table.

Dempsey showed off his goalscoring ability, netting a hat-trick that gives both Seattle and United States fans a little bit of relief. He showed his stamina, having played just 72 hours prior in a friendly with Mexico. But most importantly, Dempsey showed off his heart, as Dempsey’s come-from-behind hat-trick was enough to earn his team a draw, as well as personal recognition as this week’s SBI MLS Player of the Week.

Dempsey beat out a field of candidates that included Diego Chara, JeVaughn Watson, Michael Bradley and Jeff Attinella for this week’s honors.

What did you think of Dempsey’s performance? Which player impressed you the most in Week 5?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to SBI MLS Player of the Week: Clint Dempsey

  1. Landon Klinsmann says:

    Well earned by Deuce. Barring injury he will score at WCup.

  2. Gratuitous Stepovers says:

    Is this Deuce’s first SBI MLS PotW? If so congrats, and many more to come.

  3. biff says:

    yeah, this is very good news and a major first step in Clint getting the monkey off his back. No one else on the team is capable of single-handedly performing the offensive miracles with the grit and fight that Dempsey is capable of and if he is able to return to his outstanding form by June, than this will be a major boost to the chances of the USMNT surviving the Group of Death.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      Martins is capable of scoring 3. Sure Dempsey is probably better in other ways but martins is pretty good. When he is on form, he is a beast. Im sure some people in Europe would argue that he is just as good..

      With that said. Dempsey saved our bacon in Portland. With a little help from his friends-Yedlin earning the PK which was more or less a major defensive gaffe by Zemanski who lazily tried to poke at a ball in his own box with Yedlin sprinting or it

  4. el gringon says:

    How is José Mari not even mentioned as a candidate? He scores two impressive goals from distance and puts in a great all around performance from his defensive midfielder position. Not to mention leading his team to a win on the road. I guess you have to play for one of the more important teams to get noticed.

    • Landon Klinsmann says:

      Fair point, Deuce’s hat trick only came because he was gifted the PK that Yedlin earned. Otherwise, he has no more goals than Mari. That Mari goal was sick, btw. But I still like the way Deuce came off a good international performance straight to a road game. I would give this one to him.

      • el gringon says:

        I could see it as a toss up between José Mari and Deuce, both were top rate performances. My issue is José Mari doesn’t even get mentioned as a possible candidate. My inferiority complex as a Rapids fan haha.

      • Eurosnob says:

        He still had to convert the penalty, didn’t he? Plus, Deuce’s hattrick was in a bigger game than Mari’s brace. Portland/Seattle rivalry is probably most heated rivalry in the MLS.

        • Erik says:

          Just because Portland/Seattle is a “rivalry” doesn’t make it any bigger of a game outside of these two cities. I’m sure folks in other cities don’t care that much and it’s still just 3 points in the table. I can’t see giving it to any Seattle attacking player when they all clearly refuse to track back and defend at all, leaving Yedlin and Leo to fend for themselves which is why they were in the two goal hole in the first place.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            I wonder how you know that Seattle players “refuse to track back and defend. (Nevermind whether or not that’s true.) How do you know that Schmidt doesn’t have that as the game plan?

          • Troy in his apartment says:

            A lot Seattle fans had a problem with the 4-3-3 by halftime especially with a rookie already on a yellow. We wanted to switch to a 4-2-3-1 and Sigi finally did and that is when we took over. Otherwise Portland would have ran away with it.

            Missing Evans affects the balance of Seattle’s team incredibly. Especially on the right with Yedlin. After watching them play together and now without Evans; you can tell how much more comfortable Yedlin is with Evans in link up play and getting forward.

            Dempsey is just getting started, that suspension may have been the best thing that could happen. The chip is firmly on his shoulder wanting to prove anyone and everyone wrong.

          • Chris says:

            I’m on the East coast but I believe Seattle/Portland to be a great rivalry and was quite excited for the game.

            In fact I recorded it while I watched the Red Bulls game, and than watched it later on.

            So, sorry.

          • WhiteHart says:

            I disagree. When it comes to subjective judging of players, big games in rivalries matter. Ronaldo scoring a hat trick against Barca or even Athletico is more impressive than if it happens against another team, even a “quality” team like Sevilla or Valencia.

            Not to say Mari shouldn’t have been included for discussion, but the nod goes to the star performer in the big rivalry.

  5. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Watching Deuce and Oba connect and run off each other this season has been thrilling. That change accounts for 90% of Deuce’s improvement.

  6. Clyde says:

    An this is why he came back to MLS. To be a big fish in a little pond.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      That pond is getting deeper every year. Go back and watch matches from 2007 and now. BIG DIFFERENCE in quality. Its not just hoof ball over the top and concede possession 95% of the time and wait for the random one that connects. There is actually some decent tacticians at work and relatively good players. The league is improving. If you cant see that, then your confirmation bias is on overdrive.

  7. michael f. sbi Mafia Original says:

    I’ve been a big critic of Dempsey’s lack of production ver the past 15 months, question why he gets to start for the ants when other players are in much better form. But theses past two outing have been encouraging. I use hope he continues to improve and earns his World Cup spot on the field – not the past.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      People, like you, expect his 2011 form to be the norm. That was one season. He is a very good player and the closest thing to someone we can trust in the offense, if Donovan finds his form he is as well. Everyone else in the attack (except Bradley when he comes forward) is unproven on the largest stage.

  8. Dave Crouse says:

    Let’s see if Dempsey can continue scoring….

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      He is like leading the league in scoring and only played 3 out 5 possible matches and Barrett knocked in another that was close to being a goal. Dempsey is a player that thrives off confidence, I think it is finally coming to the forefront for the first time in a year-plus. He also has some good players around him in the attack which I hope he can facilitate to score.

      Oba Martins leads the league in assists BUT if him and Dempsey start banging home goals at the same time, Seattle could be VERY dangerous.

  9. solles says:

    As someone who was seriously starting to think Dempsey was washed up, ill go on record to say I am freaking relieved as hell for the USA. Couldnt give a rats for the sounders.

  10. wood chip zip says:

    Weber should have saved his PK vs the timbers. Anyone who knows anything about Dempsey knows how alarming bad his PKs are (weak and pretty much down the middle). Apparently Sigi never watched a Fulham match. There is absolutely no reason for a goalkeeper to guess on a Dempsey pk. Just watch and make an easy save. I have mad respect for Dempsey where he deserves it but not when it comes to skill and technique

    • SteveE says:

      Sigi never watched a Fulham match? What are you talking about? Dempsey wasn’t the one to take PKs in the game, Pineda was. Dempsey pretty much had to beg him to get the hat trick. Flat out asked him twice if he was sure he was good to take it, then said he wanted the hat trick