SEATTLE (AP) — Clint Dempsey scored twice and Obafemi Martins added a goal to help the Seattle Sounders beat the New England Revolution 3-0 on Sunday night in the opener for both teams.
The Sounders are coming off the best year in franchise history, winning the Supporters’ Shield with a 20-10-4 record and 64 points. But they fell short of an MLS Cup appearance once again, losing the Western Conference final to the eventual champion Los Angeles Galaxy on an away goal.
The Revolution won the Eastern Conference title and lost to the Galaxy in the MLS Cup.
Dempsey, who had 15 goals last season, put Seattle on the board midway through the 25th minute. He was taken down in the box by New England’s Juan Agudelo. Dempsey then stepped up to the penalty spot himself and drove his shot just under the crossbar and into the roof on the right side, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Coming off a club-record 18-goal performance, Martins scored in the 41st minute. Sounders defender Tyrone Mears, the only newcomer to Seattle’s starting lineup, sent in a well-placed cross from the right side. Martins was playing just in front of the 6-yard box, and left Shuttleworth no chance on a header to the back left corner. Dempsey also was credited with an assist.
The Sounders put the game out of reach with a breakaway goal late in the 67th minute. Dempsey and Martins exchanged two short, quick passes just beyond the midfield line, and Dempsey sent it over to Marco Pappa on the left wing. Pappa sent a through ball forward that Martins caught up with and could have put into the net himself. Instead, he tapped it back to Dempsey for the easy score.
Stefan Frei picked up the shutout for Seattle.
This article was written by MARK MOSCHETTI from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.