As I reported yesterday, Clint Dempsey, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, has been transferred back to the MLS and will play with the Seattle Sounders. This morning, the word came through that the deal was final:
My fellow writer at Rant Sports, Phil Naegely, reported this morning that Seattle will have to pay a $9 million transfer fee, and you can read about the financial details of the deal here. The Seattle Times reported that Dempsey is going to be paid a total of $32 million over the next four years, which would give him the highest base salary for any player in MLS history.
Nevertheless, I believe the Seattle Sounders underpaid for Clint Dempsey. Although there are some critics who will point to the cost to this transfer, Dempsey’s contract is an appropriate amount of compensation for what the team will be receiving.
Currently, the two closest players to Dempsey in terms of base salary earning are New York Red Bulls international forward Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane, a striker for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
In 2013, Keane passed Henry in terms of base salary, with the striker earning $4 million this season while the forward dropped down to $3.75 million. Keane already has seven goals scored in only 12 matches played this season. Henry also has seven goals, but has made six more starts than Keane.
Alas, these two are certainly earning their hefty salaries as both rank in the top 10 of MLS goal-scorers this season, while Keane is second in assists, only trailing Sebastian Le Toux by one.
Dempsey will certainly move his way up the list of goal-scorers and assist-earners over time and will prove to critics that his lofty payment was worth the Sounders’ financial investment. As the second leading score in the U.S. Men’s National Team history, Dempsey will look to be a big offensive threat as the Sounders’ striker.
The contribution Dempsey will add to the team is not only limited to his amazing skills. Coupled with his dazzling runs and ability to finish, Dempsey’s leadership can bring a sense of confidence to a Sounders team that has struggled this season. Standing seventh in the Western Conference standings, the Sounders will look to Dempsey to revitalize their squad and be the catalyst they need to make it to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
For that kind of addition, the Sounders would gladly have paid more than $32 million.