OT - Dempsey to Seattle

Submitted by elaydin on August 3rd, 2013 at 2:15 PM

I thought this was a twitter hoax at first, but a variety of outlets are reporting that Clint Dempsey will sign with the Sounders after playing the last 6 years in the EPL.


Thoughts?  Seemed like he'd have a few more EPL worthy years in him.  On the other hand, as a Seattle native, I'm excited to watch him and Eddie Johnson play together.

The Sounders already average 40k+ per match.  Seeing an American soccer team draw more than 50k a game would be impressive.



Creedence Tapes

August 3rd, 2013 at 2:55 PM ^

MLS is on the rise, all of the top leagues around the world retain their best players. The entire English national team is made up of players that play in England. The German national team has all but 4 players play in Germany. The Italian team, all but 5 players in Italy. For MLS to be a top league it has to retain its top American players first. 


August 3rd, 2013 at 3:34 PM ^

Difference being that places like , Italy, Germany, and Spain, all have a good history of placing at the World Cup with those players.   The US has placed 1-4 once, and that was over 80 years ago.


Oh, and the big dog of the Wold Cup, Brazil, most of their big time players go to Europe.  Pele being the only exception.  Ronaldinho, Rinaldo, Kaka all played their best years of soccer in Europe (Kaka still playing there obviously).


August 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 PM ^

Sir you are dreaming if you think MLS will ever be on par with the major European leagues.  Maybe something changes in 50 to 100 years but it is just not happening anytime in our lifetimes.  I think the Brazil example is perfect - the top notch players leave to play abroad and the rest of the league is lesser Brazilians and makes for a good training grounds to find some decent fill ins on their WC team but certainly not the stars.   Yes the U.S. has far more money than Brazil, but the passion and interest is a middling fraction for the sport.  Plus with only 3 exemptions and no global superstars ever headed to the MLS in their prime it's just not going to compete with any of those major leagues in Europe.


August 3rd, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^

You can add Argentina to that list. Ans the big difference is that the top players play for the top teams who play each other in Champions League matches every year. The level of competition in the MLS just doesn't compare. I normally wouldn't care too much about where Dempsey wants to play but this is a World Cup year and I believe it will be detrimental to his form

snarling wolverine

August 4th, 2013 at 12:01 AM ^

MLS is on the rise, all of the top leagues around the world retain their best players. The entire English national team is made up of players that play in England... 

Or this could simply be a sign of clubs overpaying for domestic players. I think is certainly true in the case of England, whose national team has been mediocre for years, yet its players all command insanely high salaries in the EPL.

Dempsey likewise is going to be overpaid by Seattle ($8M per season) because he's American.  That's a lot of money to pay for a 30-year-old who scored seven league goals in 29 games for Tottenham last year.



August 3rd, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^

Just stop it. The only one being embarrassed is yourself. Did having Landon Donovan play his prime years in MLS really damage the reputation of US Soccer? Even if it did, did that have any kind of tangible impact? No matter how you slice it, that's an absurd take on this news. The USMNT's best player and one of its best strikers will now play together constantly, and there is no logical argument that that is anything resembling a disaster.


August 3rd, 2013 at 11:05 PM ^

Reports are he is getting 4 years for 32M which would be the best he probably is going to get anywhere.  He was getting pushed out of Spurs with the new signings and never "fit" perfectly last year as it was.  He wanted to play for a CL level team and if not Spurs I dont see anyone else taking him so he'd be back to a 2nd tier team ... or come home for more money.   Clint is 30 as well which is not old but in soccer its sort of the end of your prime.  I am disappointed since he was the best field player US had in EPL and probably 2nd best after Bradley in Europe but it is what it is.  I am not a MLS fan but if Seattle is on I will probably now at least watch rather than change the channel immediately.


August 3rd, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

His contract is also noteworthy, as it is a record for the league, I believe (4yrs / 32mil).

It will be interesting to see if the rest of the MLS will follow suit. If they want to attract talent and attempt to become a soccer league that isn't scoffed at worldwide, there needs to be a greater effort amongst front offices to sign good players.


August 3rd, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

Helping the smaller markets is key. LA and NY are the markets that attract the major talent (Henry, Beckham, Keane, etc). If they want a stronger league, promoting the smaller markets is essential (and a raised cap would help, as you said).

During a broadcast (forgive me, I don't remember which), Alexi Lalas made mention of how the league bent/changed some rules so that KC could retain Zusi. I hope they are consistent when it comes to the betterment of the league.


August 3rd, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

The league is very controlling, which is fine imo because the league isn't fully established yet, but they are very vague and secretive when it comes to contract and transaction rules. The best thing the league can do is continue to develop the academies. The big names that have gone to LA and NY certainly bring attention and fans, but if you look at the most successful teams over the years, many won titles by finding cheap talent in Latin America and by developing young American players.


August 3rd, 2013 at 11:12 PM ^

Keep in mind Paul Allen (of Microsoft fame) and Drew Carey are owners of Seattle (along with one other rich dude) and aren't the type that particularly care about losing money.  Other people (even the uber rich ones) don't necessarily think that way.  I feel this is a one off - for a team with tremendous fan support, with a specific set of owners, who really are into soccer rather than having the prestige of a sports franchise...


August 3rd, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

This idea that MLS is a "third-rate leauge" is overhashed and hardly true anymore. It certainly isn't the Prem but the Eurosnobs who insult their own league at every opprtunity are deplorable. Landon Donovan's performances at the World Cup and on loan at Everton should be proof enough that MLS isn't a "third-rate league" and that this is hardly a "disaster" for US soccer. It in fact is a hugely positive development, to have one of your best players boosting your domestic league; the league which will be the source of the vast majority of future American talent. 

In the midst of the national team's best run in history, think about some of the players on the squad; Zusi, Johnson, Donovan, Rimando, Gonzalez, Besler, Beckerman...all MLS players.


August 3rd, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

I guess "wasn't seeing the field much" is a matter of opinion, but he appeared in 29 games last year and started 22. That's out of 38 total - and I'm pretty sure some of the games he missed were due to injury (not looking that up - maybe I'm thinking of last year?).

He was also Spurs' third-leading scorer for the 2012-2013 year.

So, in my opinion, "wasn't seeing the field much" makes it sound like he wasn't having a successful time in the EPL. He absolutely was. He f-ing tore the league up a year or two before with Fulham.

Kind of heartbreaking for him to miss out on the CL with Tottenham. I bet if Spurs had made it, he would have stayed.

Still, I was surprised to see him come home.


August 3rd, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

Dempsey is a versatile offensive player but he's not a true winger or an out-and-out striker.  If he stayed at Spurs or moved to a similar profile European team there is a good chance he could find himself on the bench regularly or playing in an uncomfortable position.

Moving to Seattle allows him to keep making big bucks, play the kind of free attacking role he'll have for the national team, and hopefully save him some physical strain playing in a league that isn't quite as fast paced or competitive.  He'll be 35 the next time a World Cup rolls around (Donovan will be 36) so Brazil is most likely his last/best shot to make a serious impact.  This move allows him to stay sharp and focus on doing the things he'll be asked to do next summer.


August 3rd, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

I just accepted a new job in Seattle yesterday, so I really look forward to buying Sounders season tickets and getting to watch Clint play all the time. This will also hopefully do wonders for getting Eddie Johnson and him into sync for the World Cup. They could become a really dangerous combination going forward.