There are a few things that bond the New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders. Both share stadiums with their NFL counterparts. Both have shadow dynasties where they were clearly the second best team over a multi-year stretch. For Seattle that’s been 2009 to the present. For the Revolution it was 2002 to ‘07. The Revs were powered by several of the league’s greatest players. From ‘04 to ‘06 that included Clint Dempsey. In 2013 Clint come back to MLS.
Dempsey played with Jay Heaps behind him for the Revolution. Heaps is now a fiery coach attempting to take New England back to the MLS Cup Final, as he did in 2014.
“To be honest with you I never knew that’s something he wanted to do,” Dempsey said of Heaps after Thursday’s practice. “He’s done a great job. He continues to do well with the Revolution, got them to a Final. He was someone who was very passionate about the game. I think you can see that it’s carried over into his coaching.”
While some players get up against their former teams, that will not be the case on Saturday (7 PM, Q13). Clint has only good things to say about the Revs.
“I had a good history with New England. It’s not like I have any ill will towards them at all. They gave me the opportunity to become a professional. They drafted me eighth in the first round. I played under Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner. I got to play with a lot of great teammates there. I went to two MLS Cup Finals in the three years I was there, so I have fond memories of them.”
Dempsey watched Seattle win an MLS Cup last year. The Sounders are where his focus is right now.
“Any time you go out there and play a game the team you are with, that’s the team you ride for and that’s the team you try to for.”