FC Dallas v. Seattle: Deuce Drops a Deuce in the Big D

This week has been lousy with talk of Clint “Deuce” Dempsey. Whether serving as the poster-boy for Major League Soccer’s lopsided salaries (he was on the crawl, people, I swear!) or as talisman for the Seattle Sounder’s (fucking!) triumph over FC Dallas, Dempsey featured on Yahoo!’s crawl not once, but twice.

Then we had the week before when his hat-trick against my struggling Portland Timbers made him the talk of the league. I resisted the talk, whether out of partisan spite or a habit of taking my hype in small spoonfuls. Still, Dempsey’s performance against Dallas this weekend has forced me to confront some demons. And to cough up a couple bucks. Sumbitch.

He’s not the fastest guy on the pitch – pretty sure I saw Chris Hedges win a foot race against him – but Dempsey’s fulfilling the playmaker role that (some) rumor(s) assigned to him in the preseason. And, lord, is he filling it well. Continue reading

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MLS Week 4: Men Standing…In Sashes!

(NOTE to WordPress: the hell is wrong with your photo button? A stack at the bottom does not help my site say, “Pow!”)

Now, that’s more like it: teams standing up to pull that big contender…sash across their, um, chests. Probably not the piece of clothing I’m looking for, but the point should be clear: teams like Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake turned in statement-style, mike-drop performances that read “Force to Be Reckoned With.” Clubs like the Columbus Crew and the Vancouver Whitecaps sounded off as well, if absent the stature that comes with being last year’s MLS Cup contenders…

…and thank god Vancouver stepped up for Cascadia, seeing as the other two clubs couldn’t be bothered.

Tempting at it is to dismiss the rest as a mess, some things came clearer this weekend. Among them, DC has a long, shitty, stressful season ahead; Toronto FC, while improved, can’t throw punches with the big boys yet; and New England’s not totally dead yet. At least one thing hasn’t changed: no one knows what the fuck is going on with New York.

The usual pile of observations about the week’s results appear below. Same rough format, though with some adjustments to content and arrangement. Continue reading