- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 3, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, Clint Dempsey, Features
Yes, the rumors are true. Clint Dempsey is back in Major League Soccer and will be joining the Seattle Sounders this season.
I know, I’ve been quiet on the subject. Mostly because I have had little to do with any of the reporting and for the sheer fandom of it all, I wanted to see it all unfold before I even began to put down any thoughts on pen and paper…or in this case keyboard and screen.
Several of you have already sent emails and tweets asking how on earth the Sounders were able to do this deal. Basically, in the current state of the MLS rule book there is no talk of how a team can acquire an American player like Dempsey in any other way than the Allocation order. But seeing as how he is a Designated Player, that previous route is no longer the first option.
Seattle is second in the current allocation order and would need to strike a deal with their rivals Portland to snag him if that were the case. Can you imagine what Merritt Paulson and the Timbers would require out of Seattle to allow them to sign Dempsey? Seriously.
But presumably, the Timbers could not afford or just didn’t want to spend a giant sum of money and opted to pass, allowing Dempsey to fall into arch-rival Seattle’s lap. Portland remains in the top spot of the allocation if that is indeed the way Dempsey is coming to Seattle. The more I ask around the league, the more people tell me that Portland got nothing out of this deal. Wow.
Some things that we do know at this point are:
- Seattle paid for the transfer fee.
- New England receives nothing out of him returning since they received a transfer fee for him years ago when he left MLS.
- Seattle is paying Dempsey a large sum that only a couple other teams for handle.
- And we know he will be a Sounder.
So there is all of that.
I will say this, Dempsey signing and returning to the league does rival the signing of David Beckham and Thierry Henry. I’m not saying this signing is bigger than those two but it certainly is in the discussion. If anything, it signifies that a top American player is willing to come to this league now and that teams are willing to spend top dollar to get them. After all, Seattle is paying a lot of money to have him there.
There is still a ton to be written about this signing and I haven’t even scratched the surface of it. Still, this news is great news for the league. I cannot stress that enough.