Clint Dempsey, the all-time leading goal scorer in USMNT history was named Comeback Player of the Year by Major League Soccer on Wednesday, just edging out Columbus’ Federico Higuain. Dempsey missed much of the second half of the 2016 season with an irregular heartbeat but returned in 2017 to score 12 goals.
The Seattle Sounders defense of their MLS Cup rolls on after a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Western Conference semifinals. Clint Dempsey’s brace at CenturyLink Field were the only goals of the two-legged tie with the Whitecaps landing only one shot on target over 180 minutes of play.
Just like last season, the Seattle Sounders are rolling into the MLS playoffs. Unfortunately, just like last season, they’ll have to make due without Clint Dempsey — at least for the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal. Dempsey was issued a straight red card in the 24th minute of the Sounders' final regular season match on Sunday after the VAR was consulted to spot an elbow from the USMNT legend on Colorado Rapids defender Mike da Fonte.
For those looking forward to turning on their television sets in late June to get a glimpse of the comforting quadrennial event that is the United States versus Ghana, you’ll be shocked to discover that the World Cup will no longer feature a clash of the old enemies. Tragically, a rivalry dating back to time immemorial has been scuppered.
For as long as I can remember, people with absolutely zero expertise in the world of player development and zero knowledge about the overwhelming complexities of our incredibly fragmented youth system have been banging on about simply unearthing the next Lionel Messi in the face of what Top Drawer Soccer's Will Parchman elegantly described as issues of money, space and time.
The story of Sunday night’s 1-1 draw between Seattle and Los Angeles wasn’t Lamar Neagle’s 85th minute equalizer for the Sounders, nor was it Gyasi Zardes actually doing a goal for the Galaxy. It was provided by FS1 broadcaster Alexi Lalas after the match had concluded. Lalas has some opinions on the USMNT, and he brought them. He brought them hard.
The United States hadn’t lost in 14 matches since November. Then Costa Rica put a New Jersey beat down on the Yanks at Red Bull Arena, winning 2-0 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Friday evening.
Costa Rica pressed, harassed and fought its way to a deserved win that all but assures Los Ticos a spot in next summer’s World Cup. The USMNT played like they did when they got Jurgen Klinsmann fired in November.