Clint Dempsey returning to Major League Soccer is a huge deal. He has many of the characteristics of a player that fans can love and hate. In that way, he is similar to David Beckham.
The man lost in the big transfer of Dempsey to Seattle is the other great player the Sounders have, Eddie Johnson. Johnson is also skilled, scores plenty and has pizzazz. Dempsey and Johnson are good friends and know each other’s games well from the U.S. men’s national team and the time they spent together with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.
Dempsey is already a superstar and considered by many to be the U.S.’s best player. Johnson is beginning to make bigger strides towards stardom in the American sports world. He also could end up being a starting striker on the U.S. World Cup team.
Brilliant pairs are the best thing to help the MLS to grow. Two great scoring players who play well together with their own styles are the best draw the league has to attract more fans, new audiences and to make great television.
Until now, Landon Donovan and David Beckham seemed to be the best tandem in MLS history. They were ahead of other excellent duos because of their ability on set plays, their passing, scoring and because they played in Los Angeles.
It was the L.A. scene that provided the backdrop for their mini-dynasty with the Galaxy. Fans were intrigued and tuned in to watch them both. Most of the time, Donovan and Beckham delivered.
Now, it’s Seattle’s turn. The Sounders want a dynasty.
It feels right for Dempsey to play in Seattle. His talents deserve to be witnessed by the masses who come and see every Sounders home game. Dempsey, Johnson and the most crazed soccer fans in the country seem like a perfect fit.
Seattle had Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson playing really well together last year, as the Sounders finished as runners up in U.S. Open Cup, reached the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions league and reached the MLS Western Conference Finals. But, Montero is currently on loan to Sporting CP in Portugal. Seattle was feeling Montero’s loss, as they currently sit outside the playoff picture in the MLS’s Western Conference.
Dempsey will try to be the catalyst to put the Sounders on a run to the playoffs and help them to capture their first MLS championship.
The Sounders will be a lot of fun to watch from here on out. Adding Dempsey to the roster has made the Seattle soccer scene even more grungy and fun than it already was.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com