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Player Profile: #4 Clint Dempsey

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He's America's captain, but with the Sounders he's just a very important player.

Mike Russell Foto

If you put on your memory cap and think all the way back to this time last year and questions about which players would most determine the success or failure of Seattle Sounders FC, Clint Dempsey probably would have been either number one or number two. After the 2015 season ended readers had him ranked merely fourth.

There are a lot of reasons why. The largest is probably that he missed time for the World Cup. The success of Chad Marshall would be another. Obafemi Martins being a near MVP would be a third. Osvaldo Alonso is always amazing, so that is also not a surprise.

But on the outside, America's best scoring threat and most successful active player isn't even the most important American to the 2015 Sounders. That's kind of odd.

Clint Dempsey Graphic

Offense:

Clint's ability to make magical things happen when the ball is near him is his defining trait. He's a fine shooter, a good passer, his touch radius is stunning. It is the magic that puts us in awe. He plays the game with equal parts joy and grit. He is a good header of the ball and can either be a target on set-pieces or the man slotting the ball home.

Dempsey's little backheel flip to pappa

He doesn't need to score, or even assist on a goal, for one to know that what Clint can do is special.

Defense:

Dempsey battles hard. Not a particularly adept defender, when he does apply effort in defense he makes the opposing team feel it. There are times when this is displayed in unnecessary harsh fouls and earned yellows. Should not be primary defender in the area, but will use every part of his body to gain advantage defending the goal.

Physique:

He's strong and a good leaper. He's lost his step and tends to conserve energy when he can do so.

Best Case 2015:

There would be no surprise if Clint had 20 goals in 2015. Double digit assists should be assumed as well.