Many followers of Major League Soccer, myself included, thought that Clint Dempsey’s career had drawn to a close as the news of his heart condition broke. But Deuce wasn’t going out like that. Having to sit and watch from the sidelines as his Sounders won MLS Cup, Clint worked his tail off to recover from his condition and reach match fitness. The 34 year old striker’s 1 goal and 1 assist on Saturday afternoon has earned him the honour of being named Offensive Player of the Week for Week 8.
As the defending champions from Seattle made their way to StubHub Center to play perennial contenders LA Galaxy, it set up a salivating tilt between two of the best. However, only one team decided to show up. As a completely unmarked Dempsey opened the scoring in the 28th minute, placing a header from close range, the Galaxy had zero response. An Ashley Cole own goal doubled the Sounders lead in the 35th minute, and a Jordan Morris goal, assisted by Clint put the game out of reach. As if his contributions on the scoreboard weren’t enough, Dempsey completed 93% of his passes including 4 key passes, and put a shot off the woodwork as well. It was three points signed, sealed and delivered thanks to a spectacular performance from Deuce.
The 2017 season is still young, but the accolades for Orlando City’s Joe Bendik continue to add up. His incredible performance on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium earned him his second Defensive Player of the Week honour. It will be Canadian Messi’s brace that will get the spotlight, but without Bendik standing on his head, the game could’ve and probably would’ve swung decidedly in NYCFCs favour. Joe made 6 stops including 2 from point blank range to deny David Villa at the death. In addition to his remarkable saves, Bendik made 13 recoveries, 2 clearances, and a punch save. A huge 2-1 victory for the Lions in New York thanks to Joe Bendik.