U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey‘s addition to the MLS’ Seattle Sounders from the European Premier League‘s Tottenham Hotspur is the most surprising sports story of the summer transfer window.
An MLS team bringing in a star player that is in his prime from a club that was going to participate in the Champions League this year is a major accomplishment for the league as a whole. However, in the excitement of Dempsey’s arrival, you can’t ignore the negatives.
In order to get recognition and increased talent level, MLS needs to attract current soccer stars at major clubs in Europe. Unfortunately, many believe that Dempsey was on the outside looking into the Tottenham lineup. By returning to the U.S. to play in MLS, Dempsey’s naysayers will say that he did it to avoid sitting on the bench. This hinders any attempt that an MLS team would make to bring in a superstar player from Europe.
Some of the most positive things about MLS are that many players that go through the ranks end up having a lot of success in other leagues, and that the star players on many MLS teams are designated players from other countries. This expands the MLS brand across the globe. Yes, Dempsey will bring in many USMNT fans, but he is not going to bring in any supporters from Central America or Africa like many MLS teams have been able to do.
Overall, Dempsey’s move was great for MLS in the short-term. However, in the long-term, Dempsey’s return may hinder MLS’ popularity globally and diminish the attraction to foreign stars far more than we realize.
If you have any other negative aspects of his return to MLS, feel free to comment below. Also, check out my article on why Clint Dempsey’s move to the MLS was a positive thing.