Sources: Dempsey to join Sounders
The 30-year-old United States international joined Spurs just 12 months ago when they paid Fulham over £6million for his signature. Dempsey last played in his homeland back in 2006 when he left New England Revolution, but he could now get the chance to do so again with Seattle.
ESPN first reported Friday that a transfer was imminent and Tottenham confirmed Dempsey's move back to MLS early Saturday. Terms of Dempsey's deal were not announced by the club. Sounders boss Sigi Schmid denied that a deal for Dempsey was finalized during an interview on Friday.
"We're always interested in good players first off," he told Sports Radio KJR. "Right now, there's really nothing to it, there's nothing to say. But we are in a position to add a Designated Player to our team before Aug. 8th."
Schmid added: "I know Clint. I talked to him when he was here when he was playing against Panama. I always follow what he does and his career and what he did in MLS, but there's nothing there that I can say right now. We're always looking for good players. You can't really close the door on anything, but right now there's nothing that's nailed down and concrete."
As first reported by FOX Soccer's Keith Costigan, Seattle expressed interest on the former Major League Soccer standout as early as Thursday:
Dempsey, who ranks second in USA history with 35 international goals, expressed his admiration for the city Seattle ahead of the United States' World Cup qualifier at CenturyLink Field against Panama back in June.
“I’m good friends with Eddie Johnson, and he always tells me what it’s like playing here — playing in front of the fans, just how it’s an atmosphere that’s comparable to what it is in Europe,” Dempsey said. “It’s great to see, because I remember when I first started out in MLS, things weren’t like that. So it’s great to see that the game is building and that there are markets like this where people have passion for the game.
“I almost felt like I was in another country the other day when the Seattle Sounders game was on — I was walking to get dinner, and just walking past a bar, the TV was on and everyone was watching soccer. So for me that was awesome.”
Tabloid newspapers overseas reported that Dempsey was in California to negotiate with Everton, which played Wednesday in San Francisco against Juventus. Members from the Sounders organization declined to comment on the multiple reports on Friday. The news of Dempsey's reported transfer move to Seattle took Twitter by storm:
FWIW, Clint Dempsey's Wikipedia page has already been updated to include his Sounders career: http://t.co/ue2ztxjlMO So you KNOW it's true!— Seattle Sportsnet (@alexSSN) August 2, 2013
The Associated Press was used in this report.