HOUSTON -- Clint Dempsey made a return to his home state on Saturday night, and got his first full match with the Seattle Sounders in the process.
The return to Texas and his first start for Seattle didn't go as planned for Dempsey, with Houston taking a 3-1 win. Giles Barnes netted twice before halftime and Will Bruin added a third for Houston after Shalrie Joseph had cut the lead in half.
For the former Fulham star, the trip to Texas was nice, but the result wasn't what he was looking for.
"It’s always good to come back to Texas," Dempsey said after the match. "I had my whole family here so that was great.
"Unfortunately we didn’t get the right result, but it was good for me to get my first 90. It’s been a while since I got 90, I think the last 90 I got was with the national team.
"Fitness is getting there, still working on sharpness. I would have liked to put one of those chances I had tonight away, but all in all I thought we created some good chances and we just have to build upon that."
Dempsey was also upset with the nature of Houston's third goal, which came after Seattle failed to deal with a rebound, and Bruin managed to smash it home.
"The last goal we conceded I thought was weak," Dempsey said. "We can’t conceded goals like that if we wanna get points."
In just his second outing with Seattle, Dempsey was tasked with running up front alongside Lamar Neagle, with Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins both out of action and Brad Evans starting the game on the bench, making the job even more difficult than perhaps it could have been.
"You have to work on things and see what your best XI is going to be," he said. "When you have injuries or suspensions, it always mixes things up for you, makes it more difficult.
"It was good to get 90 minutes. I’m still trying to catch form and get caught up to speed. Everybody is midseason now, where I’ve been off for a while, but I’m feeling good where I’m at and hopefully I can keep getting better and better."
Dempsey will make his home debut for the Sounders next week as the club hosts the rival Portland Timbers.