SEATTLE — Jermain Defoe made a memorable MLS debut on Saturday, scoring twice to help Toronto FC open its season with a 2-1 defeat of the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field.
The England international made the switch to Toronto from Tottenham in January and made an immediate impact for his new side, opening his MLS scoring account less than 17 minutes into his first match.
Seattle controlled much of the early going, but Jonathan Osorio helped TFC gain some momentum by settling a loose ball at mid-field and threading a ball into the path of Defoe, who penetrated the box to slot a shot past the on-rushing Stefan Frei.
Toronto needed just seven minutes to double its advantage and it was Defoe, once again, providing the finishing touch. The 31-year-old pounced on a misplaced backpass and went it alone before firing a low shot past Frei.
The Sounders searched for a way back into the match and eventually managed to cut the deficit in half in the 68th minute when Obafemi Martins played a square pass for Clint Dempsey to punch home with an emphatic finish. It was Dempsey’s first goal for any team — (Seattle, Fulham, U.S. national team — since Oct. 27, 2013.
But Seattle (1-1-0) failed to find a winner in the final 22 minutes of the contest, keeping the club on three points through its first two league matches. The Sounders will attempt to get back in the win column next Saturday when they head to the Olympic Stadium to face the Montreal Impact.