Clint Dempsey transfers to MLS, Seattle Sounders

8/3/13 in Soccer   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Clint Dempsey transfers to MLS, Seattle SoundersI'm far from an expert on the economics of MLS, but from what I understand, the Designated Player is a spot reserved for a star, usually internationally, that requires a bigger salary in order to come to MLS. The DP allows a team to pay that without blowing up their salary cup. DP's have been guys like David Beckham and Thierry Henry.

Now add Clint Dempsey to that list, after his transfer from Tottenham of the English Premier League to the Seattle Sounders of MLS. The deal is for big money, money unheard of when it comes to the American domestic league. Reports are that Tottenham will receive $9 million as a transfer fee, the highest in MLS history. Dempsey is set to receive a 4 year, $32 million contract with the Sounders, which would be the largest yearly salary for an MLS player.

Dempsey in recent years has become a world-class player, both in club and international play. He scored 12 goals this past season for Tottenham, his first with the club after six at Fulham, another EPL club. Dempsey has also turned into a bedrock for the United States National Team, arguably its best player over the past few years.

Given what should have been peak demand for his services, it's a huge surprise to see Dempsey come back to the US. The money helps obviously, as it would've been hard for anyone in Europe to beat that. Also, as Andy Glockner of points out, Tottenham spent heavily in the offseason, and it was likely Dempsey would be stuck on the bench a lot. With no spots open from the real top teams, he likely had no desire to drop to a lower team in Europe, so why not take the big contract to come home?

Obviously, with the move comes great pressure for Dempsey to dominate MLS. Not just be good, but be the best player in the league. He's got the talent to do so though. For MLS, it's another feather in its cap, as it looks to expand to 24 teams by 2020. While the league isn't anywhere near the top European leagues yet, it does continue to improve and is far away from the laughingstock it was when it first started in the mid-1990s.
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8/5/13   |   Jess   |   35092 respect

I don't know a whole lot about soccer, and I admit that I only follow the Sounders casually - but good lord my Twitter timeline when this went through was insane. The local news is all abuzz about it as well. I figured it must be big news! Well, congrats to the Sounders for landing an international star - awesome.

8/3/13   |   Scott   |   54605 respect

Two things surprise me about this move.

1) Dempsey giving up his dream to play in the UEFA Champions League and

2) The rumored departure of Gareth Bale from Tottenham more then likely would've made Dempsey a huge player moving forward.

That said, Dempsey looks good in that lime green #2 jersey of the Sounders.  This is a huge get for Major League Soccer and a huge statement for US soccer