Dempsey leads Sounders over Rapids

Seattle_Sounders_FC.svgCOMMERCE CITY, CO— (Sounders release) Clint Dempsey scored two goals and recorded one assist as Seattle Sounders FC (6-7-6, 24 points) earned a 3-1 road win over the Colorado Rapids (6-11-1, 16 points) Tuesday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Despite being forced to make a pair of early injury substitutions, Brian Schmetzer’s club prevailed in the Independence Day matchup to extend its three-match unbeaten streak in league play. Next up, Sounders FC takes part in an international friendly this Saturday, July 8 against German side Eintracht Frankfurt on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field (12:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

Dempsey put Seattle on the board early with a sixth-minute strike. After Nicolás Lodeiro sprung Joevin Jones down the left side into space, the Trinidad & Tobago international picked out an open Dempsey making a dangerous run inside the area. The Texan then cleanly converted a left-footed shot past Rapids goalkeeper and longtime USMNT teammate Tim Howard for his sixth goal of the campaign.

Bruin made it 2-0 in the 30th minute on assists from Dempsey and Lodeiro. After Lodeiro played an over-the-top ball into the 18-yard-box, Dempsey took a deft touch to settle the ball down to Bruin’s feet for a strong finish past Howard. The goal brought Bruin up to six tallies on the season, as well.

Sounders FC was forced to use two first-half substitutions after injuries to midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and defender Chad Marshall. Aaron Kovar came into the contest during the 17th minute after Alonso suffered a knee sprain, then Tony Alfaro replaced Marshall in the 22nd minute after the centerback picked-up a foot injury.

The Rapids pulled one back in the 78th minute when Dominique Badji got on the end of a Marlon Hairston cross, putting a shot past Stefan Frei to make it 2-1. The goal was the culmination of a barrage of attempts by Colorado, including a sequence in the 78th minute that consisted of a shot that hit the crossbar followed by a point-blank save by Frei.

Dempsey sealed the match in the 85th minute with a world-class shot from distance to make it 3-1. Frei sent a goal-kick that found Bruin for a lofting flick-on header that led Dempsey toward goal. Bruin’s ball took one bounce before Dempsey delivered a left-footed half-volley from 20 yards out that sailed over Howard and into the back of the net. The goal gives Dempsey his team-leading seventh of the season and 41st strike for Sounders FC, passing Obafemi Martins for second on the club’s all-time scoring list, seven tallies behind Fredy Montero’s 48.

Sounders FC returns to action this Saturday, July 8 with an international friendly against German side Eintracht Frankfurt (12:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, ROOT SPORTS, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). Brian Schmetzer’s side returns to MLS play on Wednesday, July 19 with the club’s lone matchup of the year against D.C. United (7:30 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

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