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Dempsey transfer to Sounders is official

Clint Dempsey


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Clint Dempsey is a Seattle Sounder.

Tottenham made the official announcement on Saturday morning that they have completed the transfer of Dempsey to the Sounders. No official details have been released yet on the size of the transfer, but reports on Friday evening put the fee at $9 million.

Dempsey will be formally introduced before Seattle’s match against FC Dallas today at CenturyLink Field.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that Dempsey will wear No. 2 with the Sounders, with rookie standout DeAndre Yedlin switching to No. 17. Sources have also confirmed to SBI that the Sounders have traded no assets to acquire Dempsey.

Reports on Friday put Dempsey’s new contract at $8 million a year over four years, a deal that would break the MLS record for annual salary previously held by David Beckham. The reported $9 million transfer fee would also be a league record.

What do you think of the move? Cast your vote on what you think of Dempsey’s transfer here:

  • Absolutely love it. Great to have him back in MLS
  • Okay move, like that MLS is spending, but not overjoyed
  • Torn between loving and hating it
  • Don’t like it. Think he should have stayed in Europe, but I understand
  • Absolutely hate it. Terrible decision by Dempsey


What do you think of the move? Excited to have Dempsey back in MLS? Disappointed to see him leaving Europe?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad move (although I lean toward “good”). What I do know is this: if Dempsey and Donovan lead a strong USMNT run next summer in Brazil, the fact that both of them are MLS will be absolutely fantastic for the league.

  2. How did everyone get so brainwashed into being such euro snobs? Every bit of research that has ever been done on the subject suggests that playing for a top club decreases your performance in international play. This is a great move for Clint and the league. I hope the Galaxy or NY try to one up them.

  3. Fact, he finally has something worth playing for, one year at THam, now four years for the Sounders. Good for him and screw guys that think they know what is best for him.

    Maybe just maybe he would like to have a chance of winning….somehow that gets lost in the “greatest leagues in the world”….

  4. I do feel like is move makes Dempsey have to prove himself in a way he didn’t before. Even if he was coming off the bench for Tottenham, he was going to start in Brazil. Now he is opened himself to like for like comparisons in this league and perhaps even on his own team.

  5. wow, absolutely love it! not a sounders fan one bit, actually a fan of a conference rival who is holding on to a thin lead over them right now!, but this is HUGE for the league! iv said it 100 million times, MLS could become a top world league in a moment if all the top US players played in the domestic league.

    the rest of the season in western conference is going to be insane; 8 teams, all but Chivas, gearing up for a fight for 5 playoff spots.

  6. I am not too happy with move, I wanted to see Dempsey’s legacy in Europe, but Dempsey returns without cups and silverware. I wish these type of transfers would be more common with MLS teams to bring top class to win and make monopoly CONCACAF Champions.

  7. A rubbish team with a few good players is still a rubbish team. The Sounders could have built a very good team with the money they spend on Martins and Dempsey. Unfortunately, they have to deal with a salary cap which artificially lowers the quality of the team.

    Any soccer fan should be insulted by the DP rule. It basically says you’re not smart enough to appreciate the game of soccer so here are a few “stars” to keep you entertained while you watch rubbish soccer. The DP rule makes for very ugly soccer.

  8. Good for him. This move is definitely for family and/or financial reasons. Not only the reported $8 mil/year, but he can cash in on jersey sales and endorsements (it is a World Cup year after all). Also, he has young children that need stability than anything else at this point.

    As for his readiness for the WC. He’s proved over the years that he’s a self-movifator; he doesn’t need to be pushed, like some young players, to better himself. So, I think he’ll be fine next year.

  9. It´s either gonna look like genius in a few years. Or it´s the moment Clint started the slippery slope into obscurity. I hope the former but I´m worried.

  10. Get your money Clint! Cant blame him. Dude was probably tired of having to prove himself every year. He was second in goals per minute behind Bale and still got no love.

    I like this approach by MLS tho. Let young players develop here than sell them to europe for a nice little profit and re invest that money back into youth development, raising the cap, etc. Once they do their time in Europe bring some back to add a veteran presence, leadership, increase tv ratings + attendance and finally get that big money tv contract. Donovan and Dempsey do more for this league than Beckham and Henry

  11. Well the good news is I don’t have to watch, pay attention to, or pretend to like Tottenham Hotspur any longer!
    The bad news is Dempsey is now playing in the West where I will have to stay up until 11pm+ to watch him play boring sh** teams like Chivas USA and FC Dallas.
    I will always remember the days when I “worked” Saturday mornings. I would haul my butt into the city grab a coffee and a croisant and set up my computer to stream Fulham matches.
    I’m glad he’s back but I wish he were playing on the east coast.
    Also hope he doesn’t get wrecked by some halfass tackle from unprofessional defenders trying to make a name for himself……

  12. Love this move by MLS and more so the Sounders. Not all MLS fans are American or USMNT fans.. It’s just great to see MLS clubs moving into an era where they can compete in the transfer market. The league is very healthy.

  13. Well, kudos to the MLS and Sounders to bring him in and spend that much on our best US player. A bit sad because I did really enjoy watching him play in EPL. Can’t blame Deuce at all, I’ll buy a jersey just to support this move and Deuce, he has my heart wherever he goes . I think he’ll score many goals, ala Fulham, I just hope he doesn’t get bored in this league. I also hope he becomes an MLS poster boy and they market the heck out of him!!! Winter loan to Everton?

    • Yeah, he will score 40 goals and the Sounders will win every game,then the boredom. Don’t you think that boredom sets in when your team is 50 points back and you still have to play to win ?

      Please enough with the winter loans. It was a fiasco and waste of time with LD..ditto here.

    • You would have trouble finding a bigger fan of Demspey than I, but I think the Sounders way over paid. And, for what it’s worth, I think Spurs made a big mistake letting him go. Without Bale, who will score from midfield for them? Paulinho might, but I see him more as a playmaker.

  14. well, the dude is gettin paid. and he and his family get to live in the states. and he gets guaranteed pt in a world cup year. yesterday, i was confused why he’d do it but now it completely makes sense. from a purely selfish perspective – i do not like this. i loved watching duece compete in the bpl and can’t get that excited him playing in mls. but if i were him, towards the latter part of my career, i’d probably cash out too. 8 mill a freakin year- wow.

  15. Wait a minute. They traded nothing to get. Isn’t there an allocation process for MNT players to come back to MLS? Was Seatle first in that draft? If they, good for them.

    • That’s the last remaining question. They were 2nd in the draft behind PDX. By all the rules MLS has made public (which I would hope is all the rules period) he should have gone through allocation. The the possibilities seem to be:
      A-PDX passed completely (highly unlikely)
      B-PDX and seattle worked out a deal that we haven’t heard about (Maybe)
      C-MLS continues to make up rules as it goes along and simply allowed seattle the rights to Dempsey without properly compensating PDX (Most likely)

    • I have been asking this same question repeatedly and it is why I doubted initial reports. It’s not national team players, but players who have previously played in MlS who go through allocation, is my understanding. Since he played for the Revolution, they or someone they traded his rights to should get some compensation. Robbi Rogers was out of contract yet the Galaxy had to trade Mike Magee to get him.

  16. I hate it, but am happy for the guy.

    I can’t fault him for taking $8 mil a year while getting to live in Seattle and being the face of an immensely popular team. I just wish he would have done this next summer instead so he could be playing European competition the year before the World Cup.

  17. I understand the disappointment. That was my first reaction as well. As a USMNT fan, I feel like we have to prove ourselves to the world, and I felt like Clint was our best hope at showing the world we belong at the top – Champions League. At first glance, it seems like a disappointing step down.

    However, Clint has proven himself in the EPL. Now he gets to prove himself to harsher critics – US soccer fans who see their own league as vastly inferior. Clint has never stepped down to a challenge and this is arguably the greatest challenge of his career. If he steps up to this challenge, and I believe he will, he will go to the World Cup – the biggest stage – and show that MLS is not a retirement league. Landon has done this, but since he never did it in Europe there was always that caveat. The world and US fans will notice precisely because of Clint’s success in Europe. If Clint succeeds, he will ultimately push US soccer to new heights.

    • However, Landon could have been much better had he the mental fortitude to get trained by and compete against the best in a top flight league rather than settle for something comfortable in the MLS, near home.

      • Hence, the caveat with Donovan. It’s because of Dempsey’s success in Europe that this move is so huge for the league.

      • This comment is completely irrelevant, we will never know if Donovan would have been better….he’s been pretty damn good regardless. Stop with the Donovan should have gone to Europe, this got old about 5 years ago.

      • You cannot say that (1) better coaching/teaching (2) being tested against more highly skilled opponents regularly and being (3) forced to prove yourself in a competitive environment would not improve anybody. It’s basically common sense. It improved me as player straight through club and college.

      • But Donovan has been pretty good over his career with his development coming from American coaches and playing against the best talent in this country. Having over 50 goals and assists for the Nats is extremely impressive.

      • I don’t think those comments will stop especially now that Lalas is starting a stir with tweeting that perhaps Donovan is severely underpaid now that Dempsey is making $8 million a year. From a financial standpoint, Donovan should have gone to Europe to make more of a world brand name for himself rather than just a domestic one. Maybe he could be making a lot more money rather than have to deal with the current disparity of his pay check compared to Dempsey’s. His current situation has got to suck with knowing that he is held in the same light as Dempsey in terms of quality of his soccer skills, but he is now making considerably less in the same league. However, the salary difference was probably more palatable when Deuce was playing in the EPL, because, if Donovan had transferred to that league and made a name for himself there, he would expect a pay raise too — just more money in the EPL to be had than MLS.

      • Even though I’m a long time Galaxy fan, I think Donovan should have moved to Everton before he signed his last contract with the Galaxy.

      • Now the trainers in Europe are better. What about the doctors, is US on par there ? Ushers or maybe beer boys ?

  18. From a purely selfish perspective as a big fan of Clint Dempsey, I am devastated. I would much rather see Clint playing in Europe for a top team. But if I try to look at it unemotionally and as objective as possible, it is a brilliant and courageous move by Clint. As I have written on SBI many times in the past, the MLS business model of bringing in over-the-hill players no longer wanted in Europe and paying them millions never made sense to me. Simply a waste of money. Just think Rafa Marquez. Does anyone really believe people bought tickets to see that guy play or bought his jersey? As I have said before it would make more sense to try to convince younger guys like Michael Bradley and Terrence Boyd and on and on and on.

    I predict that this step by Clint is going to put an end to bringing in old guys whose best days are long behind them and that we will see younger talent coming. I would not be surprised to see Jermaine Jones make a move in the next five days before the window closes. He’s in the final year of his contract and Schalke has not (yet) offered him an extension. Could be another surprise or two also in coming days.

  19. Before everyone freaks out remember these points. 1) Tottenham isn’t a champions league squad with or without him. They aren’t as good as United, City, Chelsea, or Arsenal. 2) They are going to lose Gareth Bale which will hurt no matter who they spend to replace him. 3) There was no certain place on Tottenham. And with all the additions they made his chances of being a everyday starter was getting lower by the day. Sure he’d play FA cup matches and Carling Cup but who cares about that. 4) and if he transferred to lets say Everton that’s still a non champions league team. So why not get paid in MLS. We all know most of us saw him coming back after the world cup he just did it a year early. Just my thoughts.

    • Exactly…he made this move to get paid and guarantee playing time in a good environment. Nothing wrong with it, but also nothing wrong with people calling him out on it. I don’t know if I could turn down $8 million a year for 4 years (that is what was said yesterday) to play in soccer crazy Seattle.

  20. Does not make sense leading up to a World Cup? His whole winter he will only gets games when the US plays friendlies and qualifiers. Wasn’t Dempseys drive to play at the highest level? I wonder what JK thinks of the move? The entire scenario confuses me?
    The one positive is he is going to a market where he will revered on and off the field.

  21. I got up at 4 a.m. today to take my kid to the airport and I have not gone back to sleep in the seven hours since, that’s how excited I am.
    I expect we will get 300 more comments here, much of it littered with talk of how terrible this is, but i do not care. The best American player over the past five years, in the prime of his career, playing for the team I support. I’m beside myself with glee.

    • I keep thinking what this means for my MLS team more than dueces career. Playing for the sounders has helped Eddie Johnson’s usmnt career so Dempsey will be fine as long as he produces for Seattle. Problem is I don’t support Seattle and now they’re going to be a lot better because Dempsey will produce for Seattle.

  22. Pretty amazing move for the MLS. I would rather see him playing here than wasting away on Tottenham’s bench. With the Solado move and others AVB must have discussed with him that he would now be lower in the pecking order. Also I think with out a doubt that we will see Dempsey going back to the EPL on short term January loan moves. Just like Beckham, Donovan, Keane etc. have done in past years. Everton?

      • Don’t think so! First of all, the coach who wanted Donovan is now at Man Utd and they are not going to ask for his services. Donovan might have been popular with the fans, but it is the coaching staff that has to pull the trigger or request it. From an organization’s perspective, why would you bring in players (who also need time to grow accustomed to the new style of play) and take time away from your players who are clicking unless you have injury or depth issues. Especially players who you are not looking to possibly bring in or transfer in on a long term basis (which is part of the reason Donovan was brought it a few years back).

        That’s my 2 cents, but BrianIndy you can also say “this is the dumbest post I’ve ever seen” again

      • actually pretty good post there 🙂

        Regardless in my opinion this just isn’t the end of the world for the US National Team.

        Just my 2 cents.

  23. I think this is probably good for the USNT (b/c Dempsey is more available, available for longer camps prior to matches, and has less risk of being burned out/physically worn down by the time Brasil 2014 rolls around (ie: won’t be after a long Euro season). Plus, if he’s not in the cards to start for Spurs and they couldn’t work out a deal elsewhere, than the US having a Dempsey who starts all the time is better than one who’s sitting all the time or being a sometimes sub (that’s the fear I have about Altidore–that he goes to Sunderland and spends this season as a reserve).

    I think this is a bad or so-so deal for Seattle. Not a real bad deal, just not one that I think was wise competitively. Oh, initially there will be some excitement by the Seattle fans and it helps them for the stretch drive this year. But any USNT regular is going to miss a huge chunk of time in 2014 (figure probably 3 months of the MLS season). So Dempsey and probably EJ will be gone from Seattle right in the middle of the season. That’s a lot of attacking power to lose for that chunk of time.

      • But that assumes that a deal could have been made between Spurs and Sunderland. Here’s a real possibility if Seattle (and MLS) don’t purchase him: he’s stuck on the bench with Spurs. Not starting. Coming in as a late game sub or when there are injuries. And from a USNT perspective, that would be terrible.

        I get that people like to see American plays with glam teams or in glam leagues. And sometimes it works out for the best–that player earns PT and flourishes and grows. But what if Michael Bradley ends up on the bench at Roma (a very real possibility)? He makes a pretty penny but he’s likely to be a lesser player and in weaker form come the World Cup.

        I won’t argue that MLS is one of the top 3 leagues in the world. But about one year out from the WC, it’s not a bad place for an American to be. Guaranteed PT. Lots of access to the NT coaches and trainers. Able to get to camp more than 2 days before a game. A health off-season so unlike the Euro players, the MLS talent will go to the WC in-form and mostly healthy (rather than ragged out and battling nagging injuries and fatigue).

      • My Spurs Jersey with Dempsey name and # on it is only a few months old and already out of date. Sigh.

    • It annoys me that so many US fans under value US players. A little over a year ago Dempsey had the fourth most votes for player of the year and was 4th highest scorer on a mid level team. Before Altidore went on his tear, he had something like 7 goals in 8 games for the national team. The guy still has it. Altidore didn’t go to Sunderland to sit; they don’t have a ton of good attackers. Remember Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna? They did very well. Why do some people seem to think that current players aren’t as good as those two.

  24. Seattle play on artificial grass at home. Dempsey is on the wrong side of 30. USMNT fans can put two and two together, and I fully expect many US fans to worry about the increased injury risk with the WC only months away.

    • Again with the turf talk. Ask Stuart Holden, who’s on the right side of 30, how much an artificial surface had to do with his recent string of injuries that’ll most likely affect his World Cup chances. Or Brek Shea for that matter.

      Dempsey made this move knowing the Sounders play on turf. If it doesn’t bother him, it shouldn’t bother you.

  25. I am not saying that MLS in an inferior league, so chill, but this is so so so disappointing. I loved watching Clint compete against the top players in Europe. Guess I’m a Sunderland fan now.

      • These teams aren’t exactly Europe’s “finest”, after the top 7-10 teams in Europe’s top leagues the drop off is tremendous. I gotta give Clint some props for making such a move, I’ll judge after next years world cup.

    • Or, you know, you could be a fan of the team in your own city and just support Americans wherever they are without having to be a “fan” of those teams.

      • Except it wasn’t, for a large percentage of Americans.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge MLS and it will always be my first (soccer) love. But I live in Memphis. Closest team is a 7 hour drive. While i live and breathe US soccer, I really can’t feel loyalty to one professional team. So rooting for Americans wherever they are comes naturally. I think many like me feel this way. That’s why we love following Roma and now Sunderland etc.; to see how our boys are doing. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

      • There’s always NASL and USL-Pro teams you could support. MLS or not, the point is to grow OUR game by supporting OUR teams — MLS, NASL, and USL-Pro.

      • Unfortunately, none of those around here either. Trust me, if a team were within, say, a one hour drive, I’d be the first in line buying season tickets. But it ain’t so. Not yet anyway.

        You’re preaching to the choir here, just so you know. I started watching American pro soccer in 96 back when MLS had crazy rules like golden goal and no ties ever lol. But I stuck with it and have been greatly rewarded.

        My earlier point still stands. I love having our guys achieve success wherever they are and Europe is a great barometer for that still.

      • Well said about rooting for our guys wherever they are. I hope Deuce achieves success with Seattle and stays sharp for the World Cup. And would hope the same if he stayed at Tottenham (or transferred to another Euro club). Not at all inconsistent with supporting MLS and growth of professional soccer here in the US. And to that point, whether I think this is a good move for Deuce (which doesn’t matter anyways), this is great for MLS… A great player in his or at tail end of his prime getting a big transfer.

      • You know, it wouldn’t exactly fulfill my soccer needs to become diehard Vermont Voltage fan. It’s also pretty difficult to feel any connection to Foxboro, or Massachusetts as a whole for that matter.

      • Not to be captain obvious here but a lot of Americans don’t have professional teams in their cities (like me).

        I will say that regardless of how I feel personally about Dempsey’s decision, I have definitely lost a significant percentage of interest in the BPL. I loved watching Deuce do his thing over there, and now I’m probably like a lot of others: suddenly rooting for Sunderland and Stoke. Ha.

        And Fulham. Cuz I’ll always have a soft spot for them. Plus their new away kits for this season are pretty sick.

      • As someone who would have to drive 6 hours to get to the closest MLS team and about 3 to the closest minor league team who I never see on TV, I’ll say that I think one small benefit of being removed from a home team like MemRook is that it allows/encourages me to watch MLS without being a biased homer.
        I’m a huge NBA fan and it’s hard to think about my home-state team without championing every player and justifying every crappy decision our front office makes.

      • I am indeed a San Jose fan, for the record. Have been to many games, am pumped about Goodson. So, again, chill.

      • This.

        Everyone take a deep breath and actually enjoy the fact that our top 2 players are playing in our VERY OWN domestic league.

        So many people complain about this being a retirement league. About players coming that don’t have the passion and are simply collecting paychecks.

        This is a 30 year old still in his prime coming to our league. He just happens to be American.

        To quote Kindergarten Cop, “STOP WHINING!”

    • I am disappointed as well. I like MLS and want it to do well, but it is an inferior league compared to where he can still play. I still think players should still push themselves. That is my issue with this move. He is moving to a lesser league to guarantee playing time and get paid (8mil/year for 4yrs). It is his prerogative, but I do not have to like it.

      • Anthony this is the dumbest post I’ve ever seen, calling MLS inferior anymore just doesn’t hold water. The guy wasn’t going to play for a Champions League team this year, he’s making a landmark move to MLS that could set the benchmark for further players making their way back. Let me ask you a question, were you cheering when Donovan scored against Algeria 3 years ago? What league does he play in again? 10 years ago I would have posted the same thing as you, but not any longer, its time to start giving MLS a little credit now.

      • Resulting to insulting people now???? I hate to burst your bubble, but MLS is an inferior league in terms of quality to EPL where he could still play (this is coming from a HUGE MLS fan, who has been supporting the enterprise since 1996 when I was in college). For you to say otherwise is being nothing short of being willfully ignorant.

        I have been involved in the game for 30 years. I played soccer at a competitive level growing including against guys who made it to MLS. I attend games in NY (well NJ) and coach my niece when my work schedule allows it. As much as the game has grown (it has improved A LOT) the MLS quality is still not as high as the EPL (not in environment or skill).

        I always root for USMNT players, and like Anthony said, it is his prerogative to play and move where he wants.

      • I’ve also been supporting the league since its inception when I was in college, still remember watching the 1990 world cup on tv, and played at a competitive level growing up. The quality of play in MLS is nowhere near the top half of the BPL, but the bottom half is just not that competitive in my opinion. Maybe I’m just a homer and starting to drink the Garber Kool-aid that MLS will be a top league in 9 years. Regardless I’m okay with our star players coming back to MLS, but its also best if they are playing at the highest level possible. Double edged sword I guess.

      • Just to chime in, I, too have followed soccer for a long time and MLS since its inception. There is no doubt it is a whole lot better, but it still isn’t as good as League MX in Mexico, so to pretend it is as good as the top 5 or 6 European league is not living in the real world. BTW, I have predicted that in 3 to 5 years MLS will be equal to the Mexican League and in 10 maybe equal to the Eredevisie.

      • BrianIndy, looks like you one uped him on dumbest post ever. MLS has gotten a lot better over the years, but it still doesn’t come close to the euro leagues. Roma just wiped the floor with the MLS all-stars. Game wasn’t close. I’m a little disappointed that Duece decided to hop back over seas. Would’ve liked to see him stay in Euro and get playing time in against the best clubs. But if he felt like he needed to come home, for whatever reason, that’s his decision to make. Looks like I found a new team to watch. Dempsey is my favorite player, so being able to watch him more regularly is a plus a guess.

    • Face it. The only team Deuce was going to PLAY for on a regular basis is far down the EPL rung and well out of Champions league. The guy is the highest paid American soccer player.. and he plays in the States.. You should like that.

      • Not true. Everton were showing strong interest by all accounts as well, and he damn sure would have started and got plenty of minutes at goodison park.

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