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Aug 3, 2013

Inspired Sounders rout FC Dallas

SEATTLE -- Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson scored first-half goals while the home fans were still buzzing about the arrival of Clint Dempsey and the Sounders beat FC Dallas 3-0 on Saturday night.

After two days of speculation, Dempsey was unveiled as the newest Sounders star during a pregame ceremony.

Then his new club went out and ran its unbeaten streak at home to nine straight games, the longest in franchise history.

Dempsey's transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Seattle was made official when he unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal his new rave green jersey just before kickoff.

That set off a celebration that continued with early goals from Martins and Johnson. The addition of Dempsey should only make Seattle's offense more potent.

Dempsey's arrival was a bold move by Seattle and a surprising decision by the U.S. national team star.

Instead of getting ready for next year's World Cup by playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, Dempsey chose a return to Major League Soccer thanks to the aggressive play by the Sounders.

His new club gave Dempsey plenty to cheer about.

With the stadium still bustling and Dempsey shaking hands with fans in the south end, Martins brought everyone to their feet again.

Mauro Rosales sent in a free kick from about 35 yards and Martins was unmarked in the middle of the penalty area. With a quick flick of his head, Martins redirected the shot into the upper corner of the net and past Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.

The eighth-minute goal was the fastest this season for Seattle. Evans was open near midfield and sent a ball over the top of the Dallas defense where Johnson had broken into the clear onside.

All alone, Johnson took his time and beat Fernandez into the side of the net for his fifth league goal of the season and third against Dallas. Johnson stopped, looked up to the suite level of the stadium and gave a salute toward Dempsey, his teammate on the national team.

Brad Evans added a penalty kick goal in second-half stoppage time after Lamar Nagle was taken down in the box by Dallas' David Ferreira.

Dallas remained winless in its past nine matches, having not won since beating San Jose on May 25. Dallas has scored just six goals during its skid and was shut out for the fifth straight match.

Dallas' last goal came against Philadelphia on June 29 in a 2-2 draw. The best scoring chance Dallas had was in the 69th minute when Mauro Diaz was open just inside the top of the penalty area, but pulled his shot wide of the net.

Otherwise, Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann had an easy night in his first MLS game in more than 14 years.

Hahnemann made his first start in MLS play for the Sounders while Michael Gspurning continues to recover from a wrist injury. It was Hahnemann's first MLS game since June 26, 1999.

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