Let’s be honest.
I could spend my words talking about how the Sounders dominated Dallas on Saturday night (August 3), 3-0, while running the home unbeaten streak to nine games. Or how the three points are desperately needed to keep Seattle in the playoff hunt. Seattle is still short of the playoff line but have two games in hand against the rest of the Western Conference.
I could talk about how the much hoped strike force up front of Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins both scored goals, the first time both have scored in a match all season, and how Mauro Rosales fed Martins from a set piece in the 9th minute for the first goal. Or how Brad Evans had his best match of the season, feeding Johnson for the second goal and showing why he has become a national team player.
I could talk about how Dallas had zero shots on target, not even forcing backup keeper Marcus Hahnemann to make a save. This was due in large part to Djimi Traore and the rest of the backline strangling every Dallas attempt at an attack.
All those things are worthy subjects but fuck that. All I and the rest of the Sounders fans want to talk about is Clint Dempsey.
When the rumors started, I and all Seattle sports fans held our breath but didn’t get our hopes up.
After all, we’re talking about the best American soccer player in the world. A man who captains the U.S. national team, and plays his soccer at the Premier League side Tottenham in London. As an Arsenal fan, I’ve loved and cursed Dempsey during his time at Tottenham.
Watching him harass and score against Arsenal, I entertained thoughts of him in Sounders green but never seriously thought it could be possible. And for him to be in his prime too? Impossible. This isn’t like Beckham or Henry coming over to the MLS to play their last rounds of golf. Not to knock either player because half of Henry is still a top player in the MLS, but this is a bona fide international star coming to Seattle.
I’ve seen the big names come to Seattle. This isn’t Franco Harris or Ken Griffey Jr. on a final tour, trying to get that brass ring. This isn’t Patrick Ewing or Bill Cartwright on their last legs to get a last paycheck from the Sonics. By the way, fuck you David Stern and Clay Bennett.
This is the answer to the Sounders’ problems. This is everything Seattle could have dreamed of, like finding the winning lottery ticket in your jacket pocket or a diamond ring in the Cracker Jack box.
The Sounders have had trouble in the central midfield all season. Granted, Evans played like a stud there against Dallas, but those performances by any of the center midfielders have been few and far between this season.
Seattle paid a reported $9 million to Tottenham in a transfer fee, a record for the MLS. This is a big roll of the dice by both sides. Dempsey was the face of American soccer in Europe, a gritty, tough, in your face American player who had to prove himself every year in England.
Dempsey’s contract is reported to be $32 million over four seasons, another record for a MLS player. It’s a huge investment for the Sounders who are looking to finally get their hands on the MLS Cup after making the playoffs every year.
Why Seattle? Maybe he wants to hook up with Macklemore and showcase his rapping skills. Maybe he was as impressed with the Seattle soccer scene as he claims when the national team played at CenturyLink Field against Panama.
Time will tell if it works out for both sides but holy shit, the Sounders have Clint Dempsey!
Photo Credits: Dean Rutz/The Seattle TimesPowered by Sidelines