Even the detective skills of social media couldn’t predict the Seattle Sounders signing U.S. international Clint Dempsey. The former Tottenham midfielder and current U.S. Men’s National Team Captain signed with the MLS club for 33 million dollars with the league paying for the 9 million transfer fee from Tottenham.
Dempsey was officially introduced to Sounders fans at Century Link Field prior to Seattle’s 3-1 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday. The official introduction to the press came today in Seattle with questions ranging from the deal, his summer travels, fishing, and his previous experiences in Seattle.
“I’m excited to come to Seattle and play in front of some of the best fans in the world,” Dempsey said.
Back in early June, the U.S. Men’s National Team played in Seattle for a World Cup qualifier versus Panama. Dempsey described not only the exciting crowd of 40,000 plus fans, but the city itself and it’s passion for the game.
“It almost felt like you were a different country, it felt like you were in Europe,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey had two years on his Tottenham contract, adding to the size of the deal for the Seattle Sounders and MLS. At age 30, Dempsey is at prime of his career, a rarity for big MLS signings. The signing is a statement that the league is willing to make big decisions and pay big money to change how fans and players view MLS around the world.
“I’ve always followed the league, it’s the league that gave me my chance,” Dempsey said.
The introduction on Saturday was a conclusion of a three day rumor snowball that started on twitter trending on the “#dempseywatch” hashtag.
“It felt like it was a movie,” Dempsey said about the introduction at Century Link Field.
“I’m really excited to get on the field to pay back the ownership, the fans, and the league for making the investment,” Dempsey said.
The decision has already been questioned by writers and fans of MLS, specifically those in Portland. But Dempsey described his decision was greatly impacted by the desire to live with his family in the United States.
“Every year it was more difficult to go back [to Europe], I think everything has to do with timing,” Dempsey said.
Clint Dempsey is a Seattle Sounder. A statement a week ago many thought to be foolish, but now is a truth that will be critically tied to the future success of U.S. soccer.