For this MLS, this is huge. The MLS has made a pledge to assert itself as one of the top leagues in the world by 2022, and for a while that looked like just a bunch of words on paper. This is a big step towards making this happen. Deuce is a guy who is still in the prime of his career coming to play in the US. Rarely has the MLS been able to attract that top tier talent until the players were well into the declining portion of their careers. This also will greatly help attendance for all of the MLS teams as most casual fans in the states know Dempsey's name, where other top talent overseas may not be known to the casual fan. This move also brings to light the absurd rules regulating player movement into the league and how that affects signings. These rules really need changed, and as more top talent comes to the US (with a specific club in mind) the MLS will be forced to look at these rules again and make appropriate adjustments
For the Sounders, the team gets a marquee player to add to a championship caliber team. The Sounders have been one of the top teams since joining the league and were committed to getting to the next level and bringing a trophy to Seattle. The sounders are one of the top 25 teams in the world in terms of attendance (yeah, you read that right, they draw around 40,000 a game), so they can afford Dempsey's salary. On top of getting their marquee guy, the Sounders also convinced the league (MLS) to pay the $9 million transfer fee to Spurs to bring him back stateside. The Sounders also have a real shot at winning the CONCACAF champions league (yes, they have one of those just like UEFA), which would be the first time in recent memory an American club had a shot to take that title away from the Mexican League.
For Dempsey this move could go one of 2 ways. Dempsey should, and for all intensive purposes will, dominate the MLS after doing well against some of the top talent in the world. The problem is, in a world cup year, is constant playing time against lesser talent worth more than less playing time against the best. Only time will tell in regards to that question. Many people wondered why Dempsey didn't just make a "lateral" move within the EPL because many teams would want a guy of his caliber on their club (and Stoke City is just dying to get more Americans on their team). I think a player with Dempsey's class will still be able to develop some in the MLS, so I don't think this is a terrible move for him.
All and all this is a potentially great move for USA soccer. The MLS continues to grow and with another high profile name stateside, and it is a great opportunity to continue to build on the growing interest of soccer in this country. For Deuce, he gets to be a conquering hero as he returns to the MLS and he will play for arguably the top team in the league. We will see how the move turns out long term, but this could be a great opportunity for the fans of this country.
Thanks for reading as always, and make sure to stop back by tomorrow for another new post. Remember, use the #BBB on twitter this week and Birthday Blog Bash on facebook.
-T.O. signing out
P.S. I will have a post up later this week on the MLB suspensions that came out yesterday.