The New England Revolution welcomed former club star Clint Dempsey back to Foxborough for the first time since his return to MLS last summer. Then they went about and absolutely destroyed Dempsey's league-leading Seattle Sounders.
New England thumped Seattle 5-0 on Sunday, with Diego Fagundez breaking his season-long slump with two goals, Teal Bunbury scoring a goal and forcing an own goal and rookie Patrick Mullins scoring for the second straight game -- all within the first 46 minutes no less -- to stun what had been the league's hottest team and spoil Dempsey's homecoming of sorts to the place he starred from 2004-2006.
Seattle, largely behind Dempsey's play up top with Obafemi Martins, had won five straight to run out to a league-best 22 points in 10 matches. Now, with the abrupt end to life on Easy Street, the Sounders will have to brace for life without their leading scorer Dempsey (and likely Brad Evans and potentially even DeAndre Yedlin, although he struggled mightily Sunday) for a while, with U.S. pre-World Cup camp starting on Wednesday.
Seattle has four games prior to the World Cup group stage and one two days after that Dempsey, whose eight goals are second only to New York forward Bradley Wright-Phillips' nine, is set to miss at the very least. Should the U.S. get out of its Group of Death, Dempsey's absence from Seattle's lineup would extend accordingly.
New England, meanwhile, has kicked aside the doldrums that saw the club fail to score in its first three games and has managed to tie Sporting Kansas City atop the Eastern Conference standings, albeit with one more game played than the defending MLS Cup champion.
Highlights of the shock rout are below (via MLSSoccer.com):