In front of nearly 40,000 people at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, a little more than 24 hours after Clint Dempsey was reportedly confirmed to be moving from Tottenham to Seattle, the U.S. captain appeared on a podium with Sounders owner Joe Roth. Though it was no secret what Dempsey was doing there, he wore a sweatshirt to conceal the unmistakable rave green Sounders shirt peeking out from underneath. After a highlight reel mixed with his old "Don't Tread" rap video, Roth asked him if he "made his decision." Dempsey then nodded, removed his sweatshirt and revealed his new No. 2 Sounders shirt to a roar of cheers.
Inspired by the still surprising new addition, Seattle then beat Dallas 3-0 as Dempsey watched from the stands.
When Dempsey spoke to match commentators Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller, he provided a hint of insight into his move. "The opportunity came up," Dempsey said. "Going into the season I thought I was going to be at Tottenham, but MLS and the Seattle Sounders they moved mountains to get me here. I'm excited to be back in America, I love being here and this is the league that gave me my opportunity and gave me my chance to be a professional. So I'm happy to come back in my prime and be able to make a difference and not come back when I was past it."
That seems to make it sound like Dempsey was prepared to prove himself at Spurs after a first season there that didn't quite live up to expectations, but perhaps the club felt he was surplus to requirements. It also sounds like even he was surprised that Seattle and MLS were able to put together the financial package necessary to make the transfer happen and he did want to return sooner rather than later. Of course, reaching something of a ceiling in Europe after a bitter transfer saga last summer didn't turn out in an ideal way could have contributed to that.
Of course, at this point, that interpretation should be taken with a grain of salt and we should only learn more in the coming days. But as of now, Dempsey is officially a member of the Seattle Sounders and no sweatshirt in the world can contain that.
According to Seattle's website, Dempsey's first match will be August 25 against archrival Portland Timbers.