, who missed the 2016 playoffs when the Seattle Sounders won their first MLS Cup and was suspended for the first leg of the 2017 Western Conference semifinals, scored both goals to
give the Sounders a 2-0 win over Vancouver and send them into the finals with an aggregate win by the same score. 1. Dempsey takes over in
the second half.
For 145 minutes over two games, the Sounders and Whitecaps produced few chances and no goals before Dempsey ended the stalemate.
On the first
goal, the former U.S. national team captain took a touch to his left and fired a left-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic
. On the second in the 88th minute, Dempsey jumped and
stabbed the ball into the goal.
"The first goal was a really good effort from distance," said Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer
. "The second goal was just his instincts inside the
box." 2. Sounders superior at
Both goals followed great work by Dempsey's teammates on the left side. Christian Roldan
played a one-two with Nicolas Lodeiro
and charged down
the left side of the penalty area, laying the ball back, past Will Bruin
and off Harry Shipp
, to Dempsey.
The second goal followed a short corner kick Lodeiro played to sub
, whose ball caught the Vancouver defense napping at the far post. 3. Vancouver comes up short in playoffs
After winning its first playoff game ever -- 5-0 over San Jose in the Knockout Game -- Vancouver returned to the conference semifinals for the second time in three
But the 'Caps exited again without scoring a goal. In Thursday's second leg, they were outshot, 20-2.
"It's not acceptable, because you need to put shots on target to
score goals," Vancouver coach Carl Robinson
said. "We got in some very good areas and we didn't execute. That's the difference between us and them today. They had a number of shots on goal, on
target, and Clint pops up with the two. The better team won over the two legs." Nov. 2 in Seattle
Vancouver 0. SEA:
Clint Dempsey (Harry Shipp) 56 SEA:
Clint Dempsey (Victor Rodriguez, Nicolas Lodeiro) 88 Seattle --
Frei; Leerdam, Torres, Marshall, Tolo;
Roldan, Lodeiro, Shipp (Rodriguez 67), Dempsey, Jones (Svensson 60); Bruin (Neagle 91+). Vancouver --
Marinovic; Nerwinski (Harvey 36), Waston, Parker, de Jong (Shea 81); Nosa, Ghazal,
Techera (Davies 64), Reyna, Bolanos; Montero. Att.: