Dempsey leads Sounders to 3-2 victory over FC Dallas

  • McClatchy News Services
  • Saturday, April 12, 2014 8:11pm
  • SportsSports

The Seattle Sounders came from behind twice Saturday to hand FC Dallas its first loss of the Major League Soccer season, 3-2, at Frisco, Tex.

Clint Dempsey led the way with his league-high fifth and sixth goals of the season, including the game-winner in the 85th minute.

“I’m feeling good,” Dempsey said. “More importantly, we got the win today. It wasn’t pretty. I thought Dallas played really well. We’ve got to work on some things, but I thought we showed a lot of character coming back twice in the game and ultimately getting the win. So that’s something we can build upon.”

The Sounders fell behind on an odd goal in the 10th minute when the ball bounced high over goalkeeper Stefan Frei, and David Texeira tapped it into the open net.

Dempsey equalized in the 22nd minute, sending a free kick skimming under the crossbar.

“He’s a talented player, obviously” Dallas defender Stephen Keel said. “He floats in those holes. He has great movement. He is technically and tactically very good. He can cause problems for any team.”

Dallas regained the lead just before halftime, when Michel scored on a penalty kick after a foul in the box by DeAndre Yedlin.

“We’re not making it easy on ourselves,” said Frei, who had a season-high six saves. “We need to fix those issues a little bit because you can’t give up three to four goals every game. But I think the games are really important for us as a show of character when you can keep your heads up and keep plugging away.”

The Sounders rallied the second half when they played with a stiff wind at their backs.

They pulled even again in the 75th minute, on a Dallas own goal credited to Keel.

Five minutes from the end, the Sounders produced the game-winner. Obafemi Martins sent a pass to Dempsey at the arc atop the penalty area. Dempsey knocked a pass wide to Chad Barrett, who returned it to Dempsey, who scored from 6 yards out.

Dempsey has recorded at least one point in all four appearances this season, including a league-high six goals with one assist. With five goals over the past two matches, Dempsey set the club record for most goals in back-to-back games.

“Clint’s an important player for us, and we needed to find him in the first half and didn’t find him enough with the ball — didn’t find (Martins) enough with the ball,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “So as a result, our offense stagnated. In the second half, once we started finding Oba and the subs … it was better.”

The match was played before an announced crowd of 17,070 at Toyota Stadium.

Seattle climbed to 3-2-1 on the season, while Dallas fell to 4-1-1.

“I think the wind had an impact on the game: sort of made it a game of two halves,” Schmid said. “When they had the wind in the first half, it allowed them to keep some pressure on us. Second half, we had the wind behind us, and it allowed us to keep the pressure on them. … I think Stefan showed great character and came up with a couple big saves in the second half.”

The Sounders conclude their three-game road trip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Chivas USA.

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