Tag Archives: Clint Dempsey

MLS All-Star Update

The MLS regular season is a little more than halfway through, and there has been some great soccer as of late. The MLS All-Stars have already been announced and the best the MLS has to offer will play Bayern Munich on August 6 at Providence Park, the home of the Portland Timbers. Here is a list of the MLS All-Stars that will be competing in the big game: GK Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), GK Bill Hamid (DC United), CB Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), CB Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DEF DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC), DEF Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), DEF Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), DEF Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), MF Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), MF Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), MF Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), MF Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), MF Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), MF Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), MF Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), F Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), F Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), F Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), F Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), F Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), F Erick Torres (Chivas USA),  and F Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls).

Most of the players listed above played for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the FIFA World Cup. Twelve Americans made the list for the MLS All-Star team and eleven are international. Now, here’s how each team has been doing so far:

Kansas City has a one point lead over DC United for the Eastern Conference. United has shocked a lot of people by playing this well after finishing dead last in the entire league last year with only 16 points (3 wins, 7 draws and 24 losses). Now, they are 10-4-5 and have a goal differential of 9, the third best in the entire league. Their surprising efforts have come in due to the play of their All-Star goalkeeper Bill Hamid and their ability to play as one unit. Fabian Espindola deserves a little bit of credit for leading his team with seven goals this year. The 29-year-old forward from Argentina has been a huge help since joining the club earlier this year. His seven assists also leads the team and is tied for second in the entire league!

Back to Sporting Kansas City, they have three All-Stars on their team, but their best player didn’t even make the roster this year and that is Dom Dwyer. He is tied for second in the league with 14 goals with All-Star Erick Torres. The 23-year-old forward from England definitely has a bright future ahead and could open the eyes of some Premier League scouts.

Since 2012, Dwyer has scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for Kansas City. Credit: www.sportstalkflorida.com
Since 2012, Dwyer has scored 16 goals in 35 appearances for Kansas City.
Credit: http://www.sportstalkflorida.com

The team to beat right now is the Seattle Sounders. They have dominated their opposition, landing a 12-2-4 record and lead the league with 35 goals scored for them. They also lead the league with the most All-Star players with five. One of those five is National Team Captain Clint Dempsey. He has nine goals accredited to his name and fellow All-Star teammate Obafemi Martins is having one of the best years of his career. The 29-year-old Nigerian forward has eight goals and six assists in 16 appearances with the team this year. This one-two-punch combination has been deadly all year and will continue Seattle’s winning ways unless someone stops them.

Speaking of great seasons, Thierry Henry is continuing to defy his limits has he now leads the MLS in assists with eight and has scored four goals this year. The French Forward has been able to produce for New York even at the well-experienced age of 36. He has now made four straight All-Star appearances and will look to continue his amazing career after scoring 45 goals in 108 appearances for the Red Bulls.

Henry’s teammate, Bradley Wright-Phillips, is having one of his best seasons ever as well. The 29-year-old forward from England is leading the league right now with 17 goals in 19 appearances. It seems as if he’s bound to score at least one goal in every game he plays in! He will have to play just as hard for the rest of the season in order to catch up with Toronto FC just two points ahead of New York.

This is Bradley Wright-Phillips' first MLS All-Star appearance. Credit: www.theguardian.com
This is Bradley Wright-Phillips’ first MLS All-Star appearance.
Credit: http://www.theguardian.com

The next MLS game will be played this Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. and it will pit San Jose against Chicago. Stay tuned for the rest of the MLS season as everything starts to get more interesting with playoff pushes in focus.

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USA Loses to Belgium in Extra Time

The United States have been knocked out of the FIFA World Cup by Belgium in the first round. Both teams were scoreless by the end of regulation, but Belgium was able to score two and the U.S. only scored one and after the dust settled, the final score was 2-1. The loss was a heartbreaking one after expectations were set pretty high for the men’s national team. In the 93rd minute, Kevin De Bruyne scored for Belgium to take the lead and then substitute striker Romelu Lukaku kicked one in 12 minutes later. The U.S. fought back when their substitute striker, 19-year-old Julian Green, knocked in his first international goal on his first touch to give his team a spark of hope. However, time ran out for the United States and their World Cup journey has come to an abrupt end.

Superstar goalkeeper Tim Howard had one of the best performances of his career with 16 saves. That’s the most by any goalkeeper in the World Cup since 1966! However, he couldn’t do it all by himself and the United States’ offense couldn’t produce anything during regulation time after both Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski had chances to score late in the game.

The U.S. team will have to wait another four years and hopefully Tim Howard will remain in good form by then. He is currently 35 years old and is getting near the end of his soccer career. Clint Dempsey should definitely return, but he will be 35 by the time the World Cup comes back around in 2018 at Russia.

One of the biggest struggles facing the men’s national team was Jozy Altidore’s hamstring injury in the first game against Ghana. Latest news says that he will be good to go for Sunderland’s next match. In 2018, Altidore will have to emerge as America’s top soccer player at the age of 28. For now, he is a 24-year-old looking to make his impact in the world of soccer. Other players like Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley and John Anthony Brooks will definitely return for the next World Cup and will be a big help for the United States in other international matches. Hopefully next time, the U.S. will have a good solid foundation to work with against other international clubs.

Christian Athlete of the Week: Clint Dempsey

The USA team tied with Portugal 2-2 last night in a heartbreaking effort. A win would have put the U.S. in the World Cup knockout stage. History could have been made, but it was all for naught when Portugal scored on a header in the 94th minute. Clint Dempsey, the team’s captain and starting striker, scored what could have been the game-winner in the 81st minute. His performance in the World Cup right now is inspiring. However, the one thing that inspires Dempsey is Jesus Christ.

Dempsey was born and raised in Texas where he played for one of the best youth soccer clubs in the state, the Dallas Texans. He played for Furman University and ended up getting drafted by the New England Revolution in the 2004 MLS Draft. From there, Dempsey has been a superstar soccer player. He is the second American player to score a goal in two different World Cups and the first to score in three World Cups. The 31-year-old has now scored 39 international goals in 107 appearances for the U.S. National team. The attacking midfielder has always credited his success on the field to the One who gave him his incredible talents.

“I play to the best of my abilities and am thankful for the many opportunities and amazing success God has given me,” Dempsey said. “Through it all, I want to do right, not make mistakes, and live a life that is pleasing to Him.”

Dempsey grew up as a Roman Catholic and knew about Christ through his grandmother. He also said that there have been times where God has tested his faith, including the loss of his 16-year-old sister.

“My parents had started me in the sport to help me learn good people skills,” said Dempsey to Sports Spectrum, “Little did I know that the sport I loved and the skills I learned would later play a role in my relationship with God. I grew up in a Catholic family and would go to church with my grandmother every Sunday. Through her, I learned that faith was important. When I was 12 years old, my life took a turn that would change me forever. My sister, Jennifer, died from a brain aneurysm and I was faced with questions about why things happen and what role God played in it all. For a number of years, I struggled and put distance between God and me. But He was faithful and patient and provided gradual healing and strength.”

When Dempsey attended Furman, he joined a Bible study and it was there where he gave his life to Christ.

“God’s Word brought me peace and a desire for a relationship with Him,” said Dempsey. “I found that questioning Him and searching for answers through Scripture helped me grow and gave me direction. Now my faith in Christ is what gives me confidence for the future. I know that through both good times and bad, He is faithful and will watch over me.”

Dempsey’s life has been a great testimony to what God has done for him. He has been blessed with the abilities of a superstar soccer player and now he will lead his team against Germany this Thursday. He is going to need a lot of prayer!

USA wins first World Cup Group Stage Match against Ghana

The United States started their World Cup journey with a bang, beating Ghana 2-1 in the Group G Stage match. Team Captain Clint Dempsey scored the first goal in under a minute to put USA up 1-0. It goes down as the fastest goal scored by an American in World Cup history! Then for the rest of the match, it was pretty much USA playing great defense until the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew of Ghana scored, breaking the hearts of almost every American fan. He was assisted by Asamoah Gyan on the play. However, the United States’ team would not go down lightly. Four minutes later, American substitute Graham Zusi found fellow substitute John Brooks on a corner kick that Brooks’ headed in the middle of the box. The 21-year-old defender scored his first World Cup goal and what a goal it was! The United States would hang on for the last several minutes, clinching their first victory.

USA did a horrible job of possessing the ball and had too many fouls, but they were able to overcome all of those mistakes to beat Ghana. The United States will play Portugal on June 22 at 6 p.m. while Ghana will have to take on Germany the day before at 3 p.m. Both matches will be tough to handle, but if the Americans can believe that they can win, then they will do just that.

 

Halfway Point of 2014 MLS Season

We are almost halfway through the MLS regular season and teams are starting to show their worth in the league. On top of the Eastern Conference is the New England Revolution and then Sporting Kansas City right on their tails. In the West, there is the Seattle Sounders dominating the competition and the entire league with 10 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties. They are the only team in the league with double-digit wins. They are also the only team in the league averaging more than 2 goals a game.

Leading the Sounders are Obafemi Martins and U.S.A. superstar Clint Dempsey. Martins has played and started in all 15 games and has 8 goals with 6 assists. Dempsey has only started 8 games, but yet he has 8 goals also as well as 3 assists credited to his name. This one-two punch of Martins and Dempsey is the reason why Seattle is dominating the league in scoring goals. For defense, goalkeeper Stefan Frel is 7th in the league in saves, 7th in shutouts and 12th in goals allowed. They might not be incredible stats, but Seattle’s offense is the main reason why they have been winning so many games.

As far as the best striker in the game, Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York is tied with Dom Dwyer of Kansas City for the most goals with 11. Diego Valeri of Portland leads the league in assists with 8. The midfielder from Argentina also has two goals to his name.

The Eastern Conference still looks to be the weaker region in the league. Six teams have losing records while the West only has three teams that are below .500. Toronto F.C. has the best defense in the league, allowing only 13 goals scored against them. The problem is that their offense has not very productive as they are second to last in goals scored. That has given them the result of a 6-4-1 record.

Goalkeeper Luis Robles of the New York Red Bulls leads the league in saves with 53 and Jon Busch of San Jose looks to be a dominant keeper as well with 49 saves and only 14 goals scored against him. He also has four shutouts to his name. The only problem for Busch is his Earthquakes’ offense. They have only scored 15 goals this entire season which has put them at second-to-last in the Western Conference standings.

The player to watch out for is Obafemi Martins. When Dempsey is not on the field, Martins becomes the ultimate play-maker for Seattle. If he keeps playing like he is now, the Sounders could go as far as the championship game. Keep your eyes peeled on teams like D.C. United, New York and Portland who are right on the cusp of making the playoffs. The rest of this season will definitely be fun to watch for these reasons listed above.