SEATTLE — The much-ballyhooed début of Clint Dempsey for the Seattle Sounders came in front of the 3rd largest crowd in all of soccer, was a game full of harsh tackles, a knee to the head, pushing, and shoving.
The Sounders rewarded their raucous fans with a thrilling 1-0 victory over hated rivals Portland Timbers. In the 60th minute a well-placed free kick from Mauro Rosales’ found Eddie Johnson who flicked it past keeper Donovan Ricketts.
Johnson great speed led to the free kick when he rounded Portland defender, Pa Modou Kah, in the midfield.
Later in the game Kah walked by Johnson and slightly but purposely kneed him in the head after Johnson was on the ground after a hard foul. The MLS must look at this incident and suspend or fine Kah.
Johnson’s goal, his sixth, in the MLS this season made sure Dempsey had a memorable début for the Sounders.
Dempsey played very creative and forceful the entire game. Dempsey beat Kah a couple of time in the first half only to be chopped down each time by the big defender. The last of which cause Dempsey to shove Kah showing the fiery personality the Dempsey is known for.
Dempsey also showed great combination play with Johnson the entire game. At one point the two seemed to form a plan for Johnson to block off Dempsey’s defender to open him up in a corner kick. With Dempsey and Johnson already playing well and communicating together look for this striker partnership to become one of the best in the league.