The best pairing in the first half of the season, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, have been unable to find themselves post World Cup.
Seattle,WA – Immediately following the world cup, I asked, should Clint Dempsey be a concern for this team heading into the last season push. He was coming off an emotional conclusion to a 4 year (lifetime) journey, which culminated in a departure from the World Cup round of 16.
As we near the end of August and the beginning of September, the fearsome two-some have melted into the mighty phantoms. Yes, there have been issues in the midfield, which have not allowed the rhythm between Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins to evolve. There have also been a lack of pairing. Martins missed Saturday due to a red card suspension from the previous week.
However, the anxiety level has surely risen with the production rate, and win rate in decline. The team has gone 2-0-3 since the end of the World Cup. They have been outscored 6-5 during that same stretch. The Sounders have lost 4 of their last 6 games. While it is not time to go into full red-alert status, it certainly requires a cautionary pause.
What is missing from Dempsey’s game? He certainly has shown his flair for the dramatic and creative with his back heel passes and sensational field presence, but there is something missing.There has been no killer instinct which was present leading up to the World Cup. He has not lifted the team on his shoulders and said,” I’ve Got This”
He has not been the creative closer, being able to create for himself and then also find the back of the net.
For Martins, the rhythm has not been there. He has shown he is a player who will find his game within the rhythm of the game. However, with the team as a whole unable to find said rhythm, it has affected Martins’ game performance most of all.
The team will take on San Jose this week, and will need to find an offensive answer. They had a great showing last week in the US Open Cup Semifinal against Chicago with a 6-0 drubbing, but none of that translated onto the field on Saturday.