11
Aug

Clint Dempsey gives child his kit for a couple of handfuls of popcorn

Clint Dempsey played 89 minutes against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night, and as expected, was a little bit hungry after the match ended. Where could the Seattle Sounders striker find himself some food?

Aha! The small child sitting field-side with the giant bucket of popcorn. Surely he’d want to share with the USA star, right?

Well, there had to be something for the little kid to get in return for his precious popcorn. Clint gratefully obliged:

So Dempsey gets a stomach full of popcorn, and the little boy gets a sweaty, game-worn (and absolutely priceless) jersey. Seems like a fair trade.

But for real Clint, you’re the man.

(H/T SB Nation)

1
Aug

Seattle Sounders goalkeeper flies with the Blue Angels and blacks out

It seems that it’s some sort of odd goalkeeper’s tradition up in Seattle to hitch a ride with the Blue Angels. Back in 2009, Kasey Keller went for a spin in an F-18. Now this week, 42-year-old Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann took the plunge.

So of course, here’s a video of him passing out (don’t worry, he managed to hold onto his cookies):

"You got me!" Yes, Marcus, yes he did. The keeper even told us exactly how much it took to make him black out.

We all knew goalkeepers were just a little bit out of their minds — this just helps prove that theory.

19
Jul

Clint Dempsey earns spot on FIFA 15 Cover

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Seattle forward Clint Dempsey returned from the World Cup to find out he had landed another honor: a place on the cover of FIFA 2015.

Dempsey is the first American player to land on the cover of the game since Landon Donovan in 2011. He will share the duties with Lionel Messi when the game hits the shelves in September.

"It’s crazy," Dempsey said in a phone interview on Friday. "It’s really cool. I was a fan of the game growing up, playing with my friends. Going from playing the game with my friends to being able to play with my own player in the game and now being on the cover, it’s something that’s pretty special. It’s an honor."

It is also a sign of Dempsey’s cultural relevance in a World Cup year and the increasing influence of MLS on the whole. The popularity of the game — and the presence of the U.S. captain on the cover of it — offers yet another entry point for emerging fans. If Dempsey’s presence prompts more players to opt for MLS sides instead of Barcelona or Real Madrid, then it is exactly the sort of development that can help the league moving forward.

Those broader concerns matter in the long term for a league still seeking to expand its foothold among the general population, but the cachet afforded by Dempsey’s place on the cover reaps immediate benefits, too.  

"I’m super excited that Clint’s on the cover," Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin said. "I think the fans not only in Seattle, but throughout America will really like it and appreciate because Clint is such a familiar face in soccer, especially in America. I think everybody’s really going to like it. I’m excited to see the response."

Dempsey dons his Sounders FC alternate jersey on the XBox version of the cover (Seattle has the Xbox logo on the front of its kits) and wears his international jersey on the PS4 cover.

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Photos courtesy of EA Sports

31
May

Marco Pappa scores free kick golazo in Sounders win

imageHe loves it when you call him Big Pappa. (Image: USA Today)

Looks like we’ve found our goal of the weekend, folks.

It comes courtesy of Seattle Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa and in the form of a delicious free kick special. Watch how Pappa’s left-footed curler dips over the wall and leaves Real Salt Lake keeper Jeff Attinella with no chance:

Mmmmm, mmmm good!

Pappa’s goal briefly made it 2-0 for the Sounders, who went on to win 4-0 and bumped their lead atop the Western Conference to five points over second-placed RSL.

16
Jan

Seattle Sounders pick part-time rapper in MLS SuperDraft

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Break out the turntables, Seattle!

In the second round of Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft, the Sounders selected Jimmy Ockford out of Louisville, a promising central defender and…  rapper?

Yes, the 21-year-old prospect has built up a solid rap catalog along with his partner Dalton Carroll. The duo, who call themselves “Absolute Pursuit,” have posted ten songs on Soundcloud and amassed more than 6,000 likes on Facebook. Pretty good!

Or…not so good? Their Facebook page lists Asher Roth and Sam Adams among their influences. Hmm.

Of course, it’s no surprise Ockford was drafted by the Sounders, who already employ one part-time rapper:

Let’s hope that Dempsey… er, Deuce, can give Jimmy a few tips before they team up for the inevitable collab album.

Image via Instagram/Jockford

30
Oct

MLS Playoffs Preview: Knockout Round

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The quest for MLS Cup commences in Seattle Wednesday night. Ten teams will embark upon this perilous journey with a single objective in mind. Two of them will drop out of the reckoning entirely by the end of Thursday night.

It is rather harsh justice to risk a season’s worth of toil with one game on short rest, but four teams find themselves in that predicament over the next two days. The binary nature of the process leaves no room for interpretation: advance with a win, exit with a defeat.

The outcome in both matches – Colorado’s trip to Seattle tonight, Montréal’s excursion to Houston tomorrow – rests upon finding a way to solve the inherent problems created by this difficult situation and snag the desired result. The answers to a few pressing questions along the way could determine the identity of the last two entrants into the final eight over the next few days:

Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids (Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET)

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Is it time for the Sounders to make an MLS Cup final? (Action Images)

1. Can Seattle put its house in order?: Sounders coach Sigi Schmid faces considerable pressure to turn his talented squad around after a poor conclusion to the campaign squandered a direct berth into the Western Conference semifinals. Clint Dempsey’s first Seattle goal on Sunday night provides some hope of an uptick in his game, but Dempsey can’t solve all of the problems. Schmid must find a way to establish the necessary cohesiveness and rhythm in short order to avoid a disappointing – and yet entirely plausible – result on home turf and a vibrant offseason debate about his job status.

2. How will injuries influence team selection?: Schmid will likely omit Obafemi Martins (groin) from his plans. Colorado coach Oscar Pareja will probably cope without Dillon Powers (concussion) and ponder whether Vicente Sanchez (shoulder) is fit enough to feature from the outset. The potential absence of those three players will necessitate some adjustments, though Seattle has ample experience without Martins and Colorado possesses some options in midfield.

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4
Aug

Sounders appropriately introduce Dempsey with his “Don’t Tread” rap video

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Forget about the endless Gareth Bale stories, Manchester City’s epic shopping spree, or Bayern’s Thiago swoop. At least to Americans, Clint Dempsey’s surprising return to MLS has been the story of the summer.

It all started with two pictures taken on Thursday, one at Heathrow and the other at San Francisco International Airport, then snowballed into grown men and women on twitter going on a wild goose chase to see where Dempsey would pop up next. Within 24 hours, the rumored agreement between Deuce and the Seattle Sounders was confirmed.

On Saturday night, before the dust of this stunning blockbuster move had settled, Dempsey was officially introduced to a rocking crowd of 40,000+ at CenturyLink Field. The announcement was made with the help of a clever highlights package, set to the tune of Dempsey’s infamous “Don’t Tread” rap video:

Dempsey then pulled off his sweatshirt, and revealed the neon-green Sounders jersey with the familiar number 2 on the back. Of course, that meant the Sounders’ current No. 2, rookie DeAndre Yedlin, quickly had to find a new number:

During Saturday night’s game (in which a clearly inspired Seattle side beat Dallas 3-0) Dempsey also joined the announcers booth during the broadcast, and  offered some insight into what made him come back to MLS:

Glad to have you back, Deuce!