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After Rocky Start, Sounders Star And Rapper Dempsey Finally Finds His Groove

Don Ryan
AP Photo
Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey scores on a penalty kick to tie the game against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, April 5, 2014. He scored his first-ever hat trick in that game. The two teams tied 4-4.

Sounders star midfielder Clint Dempsey has made headlines recently. He scored his first-ever hat trick two weeks ago against Portland. Dempsey has scored a total of five goals in the past two games, earning back-to-back Player of The Week awards from Major League Soccer.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says things are finally coming together for Dempsey and the Sounders.

"Finally, it's happening. The investment is bearing fruit," Art said.

'Finally Seeing The Payoffs' After A Rocky Start

The team had a rocky start when Dempsey first arrived last August. 

"It's very difficult to integrate any player mid-season, as the Sounders attempted to do. And the failure to do that is what prompted that huge collapse they had at the end of the season in which they won one of their final 10 games and were ousted from the playoffs," said Art. 

That disappointment prompted the Sounders to shuffle their roster and try to get players who can work with Dempsey.

"They're finally seeing the payoffs and Dempsey is learning to deal with the physicality of MLS and get in space where he can be effective as a goal scorer," Art said. "It looks like it's on its way, and with Obafemi Martins alongside him, they have the most dynamic scoring tandem in the league."

Dempsey is captain of the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. He's expected to play in this year's World Cup in Brazil in June and July (along with, possibly, Sounders players Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin). Art says that will further shine a spotlight on the Sounders, Seattle and Dempsey.

But Wait — There's More To Dempsey

But there's more to Dempsey than just soccer. He was born in Nacodoches, Texas, and for much of his childhood, his family lived in a trailer park.  Dempsey is also a budding rapper who goes by the name "Deuce." His signature song and video is "Don't Tread":


You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.