It seems like everything the Seattle Sounders do is truly Major League.
Seattle, one of Major League Soccer’s leading clubs, signed Clint Dempsey on Saturday. The Sounders introduced Dempsey before more than 40,000 fans at CenturyLink Field minutes before their game against FC Dallas.
Sounders president Peter McLoughlin and general manager Adrian Hanauer joined Dempsey and majority owner Joe Roth on a field-level stage for the ceremony.
The jumbotron played a shortened version of a rap video Dempsey made in 2007 called “Don’t Tread,” which features highlights of the American forward’s feats for Fulham and the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Roth then gave Dempsey the microphone, and the U.S. captain spoke to the fans.
“Thanks for making me feel so welcome and at home,” Dempsey said. “I look forward to getting on the field and playing in front of some of the best fans in the world, and I think we’ll accomplish some great things here.”
Dempsey’s transfer from Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur to Seattle is arguably the most significant move in MLS history. That Dempsey left the Premier League for MLS at age 30 is significant in itself, but the money Seattle spent to make it happen is perhaps more telling. The Sounders paid Tottenham a $9 million transfer fee to release Dempsey from his contract and signed Dempsey to a “designated player” deal worth $24 million over three and a half years, according to Sports Illustrated.
Dempsey could take the field for his new team as early as August 10, when Seattle visits Toronto FC.
Watch Dempsey’s introduction to Seattle Sounders fans in the video below.
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.