Sounders ride Dempsey to victory against 10-Man Chivas USA

Obafemi Martins

By LEE PRINDLE

Clint Dempsey continued his recent run of good form on Saturday night as his two assists rallied the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory against 10-man Chivas USA in Carson, Calif.

Dempsey’s playmaking abilities were on full display as he created goals for Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins in a physical and back-and-forth match. The win put the Sounders in second place in the Supporters’ Shield race with 13 points after seven games.

Martins and Dempsey combined for the game-winning goal in the 81st minute.

Martins received the ball in midfield and laid it off to Dempsey, who pushed toward goal. Dempsey drew three defenders, opening a diagonal channel for Martins to make a run. Dempsey found Martins with a weighted through ball, and the Nigerian chipped an onrushing Kennedy for the game-winning goal.

For not the first time this season, the Sounders rallied from an early deficit.

Chivas USA opened the scoring when Erick Torres converted a penalty kick after Osvaldo Alonso was adjudged to have brought down Leandro Barrera in the area in just the fifth minute.

Replays suggested the contact may have happened outside the box, but that did not bother Torres as he sent goalkeeper Stefan Frei diving the wrong way while slotting the penalty home for the 1-0 lead.

Neagle responded in the 24th minute, lashing home from six yards after a scramble in the box.

Coming off last week’s hard fought 3-2 victory against FC Dallas, Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid surely was surely hoping to avoid any defensive miscues. Those hopes were quickly dashed Saturday night with Alonso’s penalty.

Play resumed after the penalty in a somewhat sluggish fashion as both teams attempted to find their footing, with neither side able to stamp their authority on the match.

Possession changed frequently in the midfield and Chivas USA battled possession with grit as Seattle suffered a team record 26 fouls compared to Chivas USA’s 7. That record has been set and broken twice this season as opponents have answered Martins’ and Dempsey’s interplay with increased physicality.

Both teams had chances to break the deadlock but neither side looked decisive as Obafemi Martins was unable to capitalize on a few good opportunities and Frei did well to thwart attempts from Torres and Mauro Rosales.

Marco Delgado was shown a straight red for raking Pineda’s shins with his studs. Facing 10 men, Seattle put numbers forward in search for the go ahead goal.

There were glimpses of positive play for Wilmer Cabrera’s side, particularly before the red card. Chivas USA had spells of possession and they fashioned a decent amount of chances. Carlos Bocanegra helped organize a somewhat makeshift backline featuring Bobby Burling back from injury as well as an out of position Andrew Jean-Baptiste at left back. They did well to stall Seattle’s attack for a majority of the game, but they lacked the decisive star power featured in the Sounders lineup and paid for it in the form of three points.

Jurgen Klinsmann will surely be pleased with Dempsey’s increased production, as his star man now has six goals and three assists in only five games this season. Dempsey has looked like a new man since a turbulent start to his Sounders career, a fact that bodes well for USMNT fans heading into the summer.

Dempsey will look to continue his return to form next week in Seattle as the Sounders go for three wins in a row against the Colorado Rapids. Chivas USA hope to bounce back in San Jose as they battle the Quakes for California supremacy.

Watch video highlights of the match below:

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16 Responses to Sounders ride Dempsey to victory against 10-Man Chivas USA

  1. sir coble says:

    Dempsey has risen!

  2. reignman says:

    Seattle got a bit lucky in this game. The first goal was obviously a massive blunder from Kennedy and I thought the red was a bit soft. That being said Chivas played like a fairly dirty team throughout that game, if they ref hadn’t played some advantages the fouls would have easily been over 30. Nice finish from Martins, hopefully he can start scoring as well as providing.

  3. TomG says:

    I think the hate for Jozy was particularly disgraceful yesterday because Dempsey is thriving now. MUST…. HATE ….. SOMEONE!!!!! It’s really kind of sad. Good on Deuce. I hope he keeps it going into the Cup. He looks so confident on the ball right now. He and Oba have developed some terrific chemistry too.

  4. Nice Run Oba says:

    2 beat 4 on the break because Martin saw a channel that forces Burling to either follow Martins and create a shooting lane for Dempsey, or staying in front of Dempsey, and leaving Martins open.

  5. Gary Page says:

    Dempsey is falling down on the job. He didn’t score two goals, so his average has fallen from two goals per game to 1.5 goals per game.

  6. ELAC says:

    Chivas USA is dirty because they don’t respect the all-mighty Sounders? Give me a break. Seattle has huge pockets to pay for big time players like Dempsey and Co. We neutralized them with tackles that made them look like cry babies. Even the Sounders announcers said it. Seattle is the only Cascadian team to BEAT the Goats.
    All said, good luck this season whiners.

    • solles says:

      you have to remember seattle invented the game, therefore tackling them at any point is like spitting in the face of god. SOOO unjust.

    • reignman says:

      26 fouls is a ton of fouls and a couple pretty obvious ones weren’t called. I wouldn’t call it an overly dirty game but clearly Chivas plan was to just do tons of little fouls and hope for the best. Not a way I would like to see my team play but to each their own.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      What….Chivas USA has fans..mind blown

  7. AlexH says:

    Jeez, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that Clint was over the hill and in jeopardy of losing his position on the national team? My guess is that Clint was slow pedaling his way to fitness in order to hit his stride about now. It kind of makes sense because when the CR7′s and Lahm’s of the world will be dragging there worn out bodies into the tropical heat of Brazil, CD2 is going to have some spring in his step. Makes me wonder if some of the other regulars are playing the same game.

    • Gary Page says:

      While so many people want MLS to adopt the European schedule, this is one instance where the MLS schedule is better. MLS players are in season form, but still early in their season while European players are coming off ;a long season and are playing the WC when they usually vacation.

    • Ali Dia says:

      I wish I could share your feeling but I rate the chances of CR7 not running around and causing problems in the 95th minute in Manaus at exactly zero.

      I do agree that there are plenty of star players globally who have basically “powered down” in anticipation of the summer using niggling half-injuries as an excuse, and this will increase further as the title races and position battles in Europe wind down. RVP checked into the bubble wrap factory a few weeks ago, and I predict you will see pretty much any of the elite players who have already had their “big” career transfer follow suit to the max extent possible.

      Zlatan must really hate having to miss that 2nd leg vs. Chelsea. He and Bale are the only guys outside of Liverpool or A. Madrid who really care what happens in May. By contrast, Pellegrini prob won’t even bother scheduling practices for his mercenary army outside of some optional Skype sessions related to their shared disdain for Manchester and Scotland in general.

    • Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

      Deuce was supposed to play poorly so our World Cup opponents would think he was washed-up and not pay him any mind.