Clint Dempsey hadn't played a competitive match in 107 days before taking the field Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, but he showed little rust in his set-piece game.
Dempsey delivered a perfect, bending free kick to give the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 lead over Club America in their 2-2 draw in the first leg at CenturyLink Field. Just like he did in the 2015 MLS playoffs against FC Dallas, Dempsey lined up his free kick from considerable distance and left the goalkeeper no chance with the combination of power, precision and placement, putting Seattle up in the 44th minute:
The celebrations for Seattle were short-lived, though. Darwin Quintero got in behind the Seattle defense immediately after Dempsey's goal and scored a vital away goal for the defending CCL champions, bringing the teams level right before halftime. Dempsey, however, wasn't finished.
Seven minutes into the second half, the former U.S. national team captain delivered his second of the match, scoring on a header off a corner kick:
America battled back again, though, with Oribe Peralta extending his leg high to tap home Rubens Sambueza's cross in the 70th minute. Peralta and Quintero both have 21 CCL goals in their careers, tied for second most all-time behind Javier Orozco (24).
The return leg is March 2 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and America has the advantage by virtue of bagging two away goals.