Dominant Duo: Dempsey and Martins Leading the Way
Obafemi Martins came to the Seattle Sounders FC a year and a half ago, making the journey to Seattle on March 11, 2013 for a transfer fee of $4 million.
Clint Dempsey joined the team just a few months later, on August 3, 2013, for a whopping fee of $9 million.
Even though the rave green squad spent a total of $13 million for just two players, late in the 2014 MLS season, the purchases seem to be paying off: the wonder-duo of Dempsey and Martins have combined for 31 goals and 19 assists in 31 games.
To put those statistics into perspective, the Chivas USA team, an entire MLS club, only has 26 goals and 20 assists in 31 games. After this weekend's victory, Martins now has 17 goals and 10 assists, and Dempsey has 14 goals and 9 assists.
With Dempsey and Martins leading the way, the Sounders are rolling - in a 4-1 thrashing of the Colorado Rapids, a game in which the entire team played excellent football, it was the dynamic pairing of these two players who continued to appply pressure and force the opponents to wilt under their pressure. It seems like everything clicks for the team when these two play superb football, a feat that occurs quite often. In fact, everyone's level of play has increased as of late - Lamar Neagle is right on the heels of his attacking counterparts with 8 goals and 9 assists.
Unfortunately, things only get more difficult from here.
The previous two opponents for the Sounders (Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids) were bottom-dwellers in the Western conference table. Seattle must now finish the season against the Vancouver Whitecaps (Oct. 10) at home, then head to Los Angeles to face the Galaxy (Oct. 18), and finally return home to close out the MLS campaign in another match against the Galaxy (Oct. 25).
Currently, the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy are tied in terms of points in the race for the Supporters' Shield - an award for the club with the best record in the MLS. Both teams have 60 points apiece through 31 games, but the Sounders lead the race with a record of 19-9-3 while the Galaxy hold a record of 17-5-9 (Supporters' shield primary tiebreaker is total wins).
With the way the games are playing out, I expect both teams to roll into the October 18th matchup with 63 points each. If that is to be true, then the Sounders would be the first MLS team with 20 victories in a season since the LA Galaxy in 1998. Of course, we know that at the helm of this remarkable achievement are the $13 million men.
In sports, the field is always changing, and as such, so do the predictions that are made.
In my previous article, I stated that the Sounders would finish the season going 3-1-1; however, with two wins already, I truly believe that a 2-0-1 finish is possible. The Seattle Sounders, after giving up a 10 point cushion at the top of the table, are charging back, and are doing so with an offense that is scoring at a prolific rate.
With Dempsey and Martins in charge, there's no limit on how far this team can go.