Dempsey leaves England, joins Seattle Sounders

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A star for the U.S. national team, Dempsey wasn’t a regular in Andre Villas-Boas’ starting lineup with Tottenham. Even so, his move is somewhat surprising because Tottenham could also lose forward Gareth Bale this offseason to Real Madrid.

One of the most successful Americans to play in England’s top league, Dempsey was first sold from the Revolution to Fulham in 2007. Dempsey spent five years playing at Craven Cottage, where he scored 50 goals in 184 league appearances and became a fan favorite. Last year with Tottenham, Dempsey scored seven goals in 29 Premier League matches, scored three times in two FA Cup matches and had two more goals in 10 other games.

As his stock in Europe rose, so did Dempsey’s role on his national team. He’s played in eight games in 2013 for the United States and scored five times. His next international appearance for the Americans will be his 100th, and he’s served as the U.S. captain most of this year when Landon Donovan was out.

Dempsey came to England as an attacking midfielder but has developed into a potent forward in recent seasons, starting up front for the U.S. too.

Outside of CenturyLink Field on Saturday, fans were already buzzing about Dempsey’s arrival prior to the official announcement. At retailers around the stadium, custom Sounders jerseys with “Dempsey” across the back and No. 2 were being printed with regularity all afternoon in both versions of Seattle’s jersey.

During the pregame march near the stadium, fans chanted “Deuce upside the head, I said Deuce upside the head,” and carried head shots of Dempsey attached to sticks.

Major League Soccer is thrilled to have Clint Dempsey, arguably one of the best players the United States has ever produced, return to the league to play for the Sounders,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Clint could have played in any league throughout the world, and he chose MLS and the Sounders. Our vision is to become one of the best leagues in the world, and we look forward to Clint being a part of that legacy.”

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