Landon Donovan vs. Clint Dempsey: Analysing Stats Ahead of Galaxy-Sounders Clash

When the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Seattle Sounders this weekend in Major League Soccer action, two of the biggest stars in United States men’s national team history will be on opposite sides of the pitch. Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders will lead their sides in a crucial Western Conference matchup with MLS playoff implications at stake for both clubs. For the Sounders, their pursuit of the Supporters Shield will certainly be tested against the two-time MLS Cup Champions the Los Angeles Galaxy who, in addition to Donovan, boast plenty of other studs like Irish striker Robbie Keane and American center-back Omar Gonzalez. Despite the gravity of the game for both clubs, many U.S. eyes will be firmly focused on Donovan and Dempsey, two of most electric footballers in American soccer history. This weekend’s game marks the first time these two players will be facing each other as opponents since 2012, when Dempsey played for Fulham and Donovan was on loan for Everton in the English Premier League.   Donovan got the better of Dempsey on the day, setting up Everton’s two goals to help secure a 2-1 victory. In preparation for the match, here is ...
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Top 5 Goalkeepers in the MLS Right Now

The United States of America has produced plenty of world-class goalkeepers. Be it English Premier League veterans Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller and Tim Howard or a player like Tony Meola, who was forced to stand on his head on many occasions during the 1994 World Cup. Point being is that the U.S. churns out outstanding goalkeepers consistently. Perhaps a reason there is so much talent at the position has to do with Major League Soccer and just how difficult it is to nab a starting goalkeeper job in America’s top professional league. As such, here is a look at the top five goalkeepers in Major League Soccer right now.Begin Slideshow
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How Clint Dempsey Will Fit at Seattle Sounders

The dust has settled. Clint Dempsey is plying his trade for the Seattle Sounders. Unfortunately, his two games in the Emerald City have not given a fair sample as to how head coach Sigi Schmid might deploy him when Seattle have a full side. In Dempsey’s first match, the team’s other Designated Player Obafemi Martins was forced out of action early due to injury. In Deuce’s second match, a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo, both Martins and strike partner Eddie Johnson were missing because of Martins’ fitness and EJ’s disciplinary suspension. A lack of a fully loaded Sounders side has seen Dempsey float about the field at his will, picking and choosing the times he wishes to drop deep and create from midfield. Even though Seattle have not had a full complement of players, Schmid should continue to allow Dempsey to play with this type of freedom of movement. Sure, Dempsey can play as an outside winger. He has done it before at both the club level and for the USMNT in the past. He is effective at it, too, crossing with precision and lively enough to skip past defenders on the flank. He is also able to play as a true striker, stationed firmly ...
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Clint Dempsey and Other Players to Watch in MLS Weekend Action

This weekend of Major League Soccer marks the return of a legend to America’s top flight professional soccer league: the United States Men’s National Team's captain, Clint Dempsey. The Seattle Sounders will take the Dempsey show on the road to Canada to face a Toronto FC side that is unbeaten in its last three MLS matches. While seeing Dempsey back in MLS will spark intrigue of its own, it might well be even more fascinating to see how manager Sigi Schmid deploys his newest weapon. Deuce is a diverse enough to player to fit in just about anywhere in the midfield or as a striker. Odds are, though, that with Designated Player Obafemi Martins available, as well as USMNT striker Eddie Johnson, the Texan will find himself in a No. 10-inspired role. Regardless, it is official: Clint Dempsey is a Major League Soccer employee. Here are three other players to watch this weekend in MLS.   Thierry Henry Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls are scorching hot, most recently coming off a massive road victory against fellow Eastern Conference favorites Sporting Kansas City. They head to Columbus to face a Crew side that has been unable to put together a full 90-minute performance of late. Historically, the Frenchman has picked ...
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Seattle Sounders Stats and How Clint Dempsey Could Fit in Tactically

The dust has settled. United States men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey is officially a member of the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer. So…now what? It will be critical for head coach Sigi Schmid to figure out where exactly his recently inked Texan fits in tactically for one of MLS’ most popular clubs. With an examination of Seattle’s statistics from MLS 2013 as well as a look at Deuce’s numbers from his last season at Tottenham, some clues into how Schmid might deploy his new asset emerge. One thing is for sure in regards to Dempsey’s role for the Sounders—he will be used to create chances and score goals from an offensive position. He did as much during last season’s English Premier League campaign. The newly minted Sounder was third on Spurs in Premier League goals with seven during the 2012-13 season and tied for second on the team with four assists. He also dished out 33 key passes. A player as versatile as Dempsey can be deployed just about anywhere in the midfield or as a forward. Such versatility means Schmid has some thinking to do. While he mulls where to play Dempsey, he may want to consider that Seattle definitely needs help creating chances. The ...
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Breaking Down Landon Donovan’s 2013 MLS Stats

Landon Donovan is back to his old tricks since returning to the L.A. Galaxy after a brief hiatus from soccer.  In fact, by many metrics, Donovan can be considered one of the top playmakers in all of MLS so far this season.  The most prolific goalscorer in United States men’s national team history has started in 12 MLS matches and appeared in 13 for the two-time defending MLS Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy.  He has certainly been aggressive since his voyage back to California, committing the third most fouls of anyone on Los Angeles (1.5 per match, 19 total) and receiving one yellow card.  Only Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas have committed more fouls for L.A., having been whistled 1.5 (26 total) and 2.9 (46 total) times per match respectively.  Sarvas’ figure is the highest total in all of MLS 2013. Donovan has always been a finisher. He has the most goals in U.S. national team history (49) and the second most caps per goal with 2.8 just a notch behind current U.S. captain, Clint Dempsey (2.9).  He also has the third most goals in MLS history, having tallied 127 times and only trails Jeff Cunningham (134) and Jaime Moreno (133). He ...
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MLS Biggest Disappointments of the Season so Far

Major League Soccer is just about a third of the way through its 2013 regular-season competition. A chunk of matches this size is a decent enough sample to use when trying to determine trends and themes about the league and how the rest of the year might play out. Before looking forward, however; its always prudent to look back and discuss what has happened so far.  And in this case, specifically the biggest disappointments.  While there has been plenty of quality both from individuals and overall team performances, there has also been a good amount of letdown. The following players and clubs will likely hope to forget how poor they have been so far in Major League Soccer.  DC United Last season, manager Ben Olsen was considered one of the hottest young coaches after leading DC United to the Eastern Conference Finals.  That seems like a very, very long time ago for the Black and Red, who have lost seven straight matches in this year's MLS regular season.  They currently sit dead last of the 19 teams in the league and are dealing with a seven-game losing streak.The issues?  There are many, but poor goalkeeping, errors in the back and a lack of a ...
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Manchester City’s Rumoured MLS Franchise in New York: Pros and Cons

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has hinted that the league’s 20th franchise will likely be based in New York City (via, and reports from suggest that the team could well be connected with the same ownership that runs Manchester City. As always, fans and media share differing opinions regarding whether this would be an overall positive move for MLS. The pros are clear: a soccer stadium in New York City, America’s largest market, would immediately attract engaged soccer fans that are intimidated by the prospect of traveling to New Jersey to see a match.  Queens, the predicted location for the stadium, is one of the most diverse places on the planet.  Different ethnicities obsessed with soccer litter the borough, so finding consumers would not be an issue. There is also the bonus of adding another rivalry to Major League Soccer, a trend the league has made clear it believes is important to growing the game stateside.  Because of the proximity to Red Bull Arena, the new franchise would forever be associated with New York Red Bulls.Such a relationship would fit in nicely with the already established New York area rivalries like the Knicks and Nets, Devils and ...
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Why Foreign Flavor Is Improving the Popularity of MLS

Major League Soccer recently released information proving it is North America’s most diverse professional sports league.  Sixty-two nations are represented on the 19 teams that make up soccer’s top competition in Canada and the United States. Since its inception, MLS has seen foreign stars grace its fields and draw in the attention of fans both abroad and domestic. In the early seasons it was South American playmakers like Carlos Valderrama and Marco Etcheverry who won the hearts of supporters with skillful grace and eloquence. It was difficult to determine what was more appealing about them, their unique hairstyles or brilliant ability on the ball.  More recently foreign superstars like David Beckham (now at PSG) and Thierry Henry have made homes in the States and have done a fantastic job not only as players but as ambassadors of the game as well: bringing world-class résumés and skills to America and Canada’s version of the beautiful game. Contributions from the greats like those mentioned above are well-noted and documented.  However, it is not just big-name stars that are making the difference in Major League Soccer these days. The league is littered with young talents from South and Central America from countries like Colombia, Costa ...
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MLS Wednesday Wrap: Goals, Recaps and Interesting Stats

Week 11 of MLS started Wednesday with some beautiful goals and late drama throughout six matches. Four of the six were decided by one goal.  The only match with a larger margin of victory was Houston's 4-0 drubbing of DC United. Thierry Henry added another gem of a finish to his portfolio with an athletic overhead game-winning goal as the Red Bulls nabbed their fourth-straight victory.New York is now tied atop the Eastern Conference table with the Houston Dynamo.Two Western Conference road teams earned three points over Eastern Conference opponents with heart-stopping late goals and, in one case, a massive penalty save from the best goalkeeper in Major League Soccer, Nick Rimando.The San Jose Earthquakes did what they seem to do just about every single match: Come from behind and win with just minutes to go. Sporting Kansas City faithful got to see a goalscoring machine return from an adventure abroad. Begin Slideshow
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