Before the game, Dempsey popped into the Sounders locker room to meet his new teammates. Forward Eddie Johnson, a friend of Dempsey through U.S. national team play, described the atmosphere as meeting a legend.
“When he got here, I looked around the room and there were a lot of guys who idolize him,” Johnson said. “Who’d love to have an opportunity to play with him and now that opportunity becomes a reality.”
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid made the introduction early to get the team focused on the game. The atmosphere
on the field made play more electric.
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In the eighth minute, forward Obafemi Martins’ header put the Sounders on the board first. He nailed the shot off a feed from Mauro Rosales.
In the 22nd minute, Johnson booted in a goal off an assist from Brad Evans. It was Johnson’s 60th goal in his Major League Soccer career, the eighth active player with 60 or more MLS goals.
Evans wrapped up the scoring on a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time.
“You always want to put in a good performance when you sign a big-name player,” Evans said. “Everybody is putting in the work, though. Nobody wants their spot taken on the field. But it was a reward for the fans. They came out early, they wanted to see the big presentation, and we got on them (Dallas) early. In this league, it’s very difficult to dominate a team for 90 minutes.”
Dallas played more aggressive in the second half, but was unable to score. It was the Sounders’ record ninth straight win a CenturyLink Field.
Schmid said Dempsey would begin practice this week but was uncertain of when the star would make his debut in the lineup.
Saturday’s win wrapped up the Sounders’ three-game homestand. The team travels to Toronto for a match on Saturday.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.