U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey’s addition to the MLS’ Seattle Sounders from the European Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur might be the biggest thing to happen to MLS since David Beckham announced he was going to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
It was unexpected and frankly shocking that the most decorated U.S. soccer player of all time would forgo Champions League soccer to play in MLS.
Dempsey’s addition to Seattle’s roster and its acceptance by MLS management can lead to a change in the status of MLS globally. If a player of Dempsey’s caliber can get paid that much in the U.S. compared to playing in the major leagues overseas, then more players of that caliber will be encouraged to play in MLS.
It will probably be decades before players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi would even think about coming to play in the U.S. over Europe. However, what’s to stop on-the-verge players, or even players who are potentially on the outside looking in to European teams coming to MLS?
MLS could be a “who’s-who” of up-and-coming stars. As of now, MLS has older stars and key members of CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and Confederation of African Football national teams in its ranks. With teams now having to compete with Seattle’s acquisition of Dempsey, young stars from all over the world could start coming to play in the U.S.
Dempsey’s return to MLS could be the first step in turning a league that has been globally seen as subpar into a powerhouse in the Western Hemisphere that rivals that of the big European leagues. In 20 years, we may all look back at Dempsey’s surprise signing as the defining moment in U.S. club soccer history. This could be the start of something major in the world of American soccer.
Feel free to comment with any other positives from Dempsey’s return. Also, check out my article on why Clint Dempsey’s move to the MLS is a negative thing.