Clint Dempsey Starting to Show Signs of Life, Former Self
Ever since Clint Dempsey’s famous move back to the MLS last summer, fans have been largely disappointed by his overall drop in form. Long gone seemed his days of glory, when he could be counted on to score a tremendous goal or make an impact play. Even a loan move back to Fulham earlier this year proved incapable of reawakening the tremendous talent that has been in hibernation. But in last weekend’s 4-4 draw between Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers, the Dempsey of old was back in action, netting a hat trick and reminding America that he is surely still our top player.
Each of his goals displayed some of the top qualities that make Dempsey so dangerous. On his first he found good space in front of the goal and placed a smart and calm effort into the net. But it was late in the game with his Sounders trailing 4-2 where Dempsey really shined on Saturday. For the player’s second goal, Clint received a heavily weighted ball in the opponent’s penalty area. With a defender and goalie closing in and with his balance shifting, Dempsey was able to bring the ball down and power it in past the keeper. It wasn’t anything beautiful, but this remarkable piece of skill showed off the fighter that lies within the game of Clint Dempsey!
For the dramatic equalizer, Clint Dempsey showed off his cool and calmly converted a penalty, displaying that vital element of leadership. This will likely be his most valuable asset in the summer for the American National team in their exploits in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
The hat trick put Dempsey on top of the MLS goals scored list, a position where many expect him to be at the season’s end. Such an output of production is hopefully what will catapult the player into hitting a hot streak of form in time for the World Cup. If America is going to qualify out of their group featuring Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, such play will be absolutely required from some of our veteran leaders. With fight, strength, and calmness in front of goal, Clint Dempsey resembles his old self again and will hopefully be a top player in Brazil!
But for the long term, this reawakened player should surely be the hero that the Sounders expected when they spent so much money in order to lure him back to the United States last summer. If this match is any hint of what is to come, I am expecting big things for the rest of 2014.
Rivalry matches can often bring about the best in players and push a team forward to success in a high intensity sort of match. That is exactly what just happened for Dempsey and his Sounders. Able to dig deep and overcome a 2-goal deficit in the last 10 minutes of their match against the rival Portland Timbers should surely help inspire a first step in revitalizing the season for both the club and player! Let’s see if Clint Dempsey can now get on a hot run of form!