Clint Dempsey Returns to MLS Live: U.S. Soccer Star Says It ‘Felt Right’ to Come Back to America

Clint Dempsey5:55 p.m.: Schmid made the final comments of the Dempsey press conference, saying that he expects the U.S. captain to provide in-game leadership as he has done for clubs and his country for a number of years.

5:50 p.m.: Schmid says Dempsey’s signing is a reward to the fans who have supported the Sounders for five years and a statement of intent by the club.

When asked how the move will affect his national team performances, Dempsey says the fact that MLS players have come into the national team and nailed down spots in the starting lineup speaks volumes about the league’s growth.

Schmid says Dempsey’s new teammates have welcomed him with open arms. He said he will watch the new forward in practice before assessing how soon he can play (and how many minutes).

5:45 p.m.: Dempsey thanks Sounders rookie DeAndre Yedlin for giving him the No. 2 jersey. The number has personal significance for the Sounders’ newcomer, and he says he will “compensate” Yedlin for changing numbers.

“Maybe I’ll take him to a few dinners,” Dempsey said.

5:40 p.m.: Dempsey chuckles when talking about how he had to sneak out of Seattle’s airport through a back door in order to evade awaiting Sounders fans and keep the transfer a secret for as long as possible.

5:35 p.m.: Dempsey says he looks back on his Premier League career “with no regrets,” calling it a success.

5:30 p.m.: Dempsey says the atmosphere coming for his unveiling “felt like a movie.”

Dempsey and Schmid talk about the pressure that is heaped on Dempsey’s shoulders. They both say Dempsey is no stranger to pressure and the expectations he puts on himself will be greater than what others put on him.

5:25 p.m.: Dempsey said it “felt right” to come back to MLS and play while he’s in his prime.

He says the quality of play has improved since he left MLS for the Premier League in 2007.

He also says he missed being in America.

“You can’t help grow the game if you come back and don’t perform. When I decided to come back to this league, I wanted to come and make an impact.”

5:20 p.m.: After a 20 minute delay, it appears the press conference is about to start (for real this time).

Dempsey is on the podium alongside Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid, general manager Adrian Hanauer and president Peter McLoughlin.

Hanauer is telling the story about how the Sounders landed Dempsey. You can read the same tale in Grant Wahl’s Sports Illustrated piece on the Dempsey transfer.

5 p.m.:  The press conference is set to start soon.

4 p.m. ET: Clint Dempsey is back home.

The captain of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team signed with the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, ending a successful five-and-a-half-year stint in England’s Premier League.

Dempsey left Tottenham Hotspur for Seattle last week in what was among the most significant deals in U.S. soccer history. The Sounders presented Dempsey to their fans on Saturday, and the American soccer star will speak to the media for the first time as a Sounders player on Monday.

Dempsey will likely discuss what brought him back to MLS and his future prospects in the much-anticipated press conference. We’ll be Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders press conference live and relaying the key points back to you.

Join us right here at 5 p.m. for all the highlights from Dempsey’s introductory press conference.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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