U.S. national team captain Clint Dempsey has signed with the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer after seven years in the English Premier League.
“Having recently played in Seattle with the national team, I experienced the incredible atmosphere and the passion from the supporters first-hand,” the midfielder said in a statement on the Sounders website.
Dempsey joins the Sounders from the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur who didn’t disclose financial terms of the move. NBC Sports reported the Sounders will pay Spurs an MLS-record $9 million transfer fee and have guaranteed Dempsey $32 million over the next four seasons, making him one of the most expensive players in league history.
“In doing something of this magnitude, we had to make sure we had the right player,” said Adrian Hanauer, Sounders’ owner and general manager. “Clint Dempsey fits that mold. Clint is a proven winner, a leader and a competitor who we believe will raise the bar for this organization on and off the field.”
Dempsey, 30, leaves the Premier League as holder of the record for the most goals by an American at 57. He ranks second to Landon Donovan for most goals in U.S. national team history with 35 in 99 games since 2004.
Dempsey spent the past 6 1/2 seasons in the Premier League. He began his career in MLS with the New England Revolution in 2004 before moving to England with Fulham in January 2007.
He joined Tottenham from Fulham last season and scored 12 goals in 43 games in all competitions. He had a total of 72 goals during his time in England.
Dempsey played at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and is a three-time winner of U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award.