Saturday, August 3, 2013
This truly caught me by surprise: U.S. men's national team superstar Clint Dempsey is reportedly returning to his roots in MLS. Various reputable outlets (ESPN.com, CNNSI.com, etc.) sprouted similar stories tonight that he was about to transfer (for $9 million, an MLS-record) from Tottenham and sign a four-year deal with the Seattle Sounders worth $32 million. Huh?
If this goes through-apparently he'll be watching at Seattle's match on Saturday-and introduced on Monday then he only spent one season at Tottenham after transferring from Fulham. As expected, he didn't score at nearly the same rate since he was on a much better team but 22 starts (out of 38) and 12 goals (7 in EPL matches) seemed like a decent return for the 30-year-old midfielder/forward.
From the sense of challenging himself and wanting to play at the top level, this move makes no sense whatsoever. Dempsey has been the U.S.' top field player for years and this will really damage the international credibility he had built up by competing so well at Fulham and to a lesser extent Tottenham. Now he's just another American toiling in MLS.
If he wanted to cash in and set up his family for life (not that they were starving before), well who can hate on that? It's just weird that his priorities changed so quickly. Keep in mind that Tottenham finished fourth last season in the EPL but missed out on the final Champions League spot since Chelsea (defending Champions League winner) received it for their past achievement.
Not that he'll probably ever disclose the real reason but it'll be interesting to hear how Dempsey will explain this bizarre decision. He's at the top of his game professionally which is why this makes me so disappointed. Oh and it is less than a year away from the 2014 World Cup. MLS will always be here, why not test himself a few more years in England? Ugh.
I'd say Dempsey returning to MLS (for the first time since 2006 with the New England Revolution) might make me watch it or at least pay attention more but the fact is it would take many additional great players spread around the league before I start to care. Sorry Deuce. I will still watch the EPL faithfully but with Dempsey gone and Gareth Bale possibly going to Real Madrid, looks like I won't need to pay extra attention to Tottenham anymore.