The Seattle Sounders will need to play very well in the coming weeks in order to make the postseason, and the addition of Clint Dempsey will certainly help the team's chances of finishing in at least fifth place in the Western Conference.
Tottenham Hotspur announced Friday that it had reached an agreement to transfer Dempsey to Major League Soccer, per the official Twitter account for the club. Doug McIntyre of ESPNFC reports that the Texas native will be playing for the Sounders.
The official Twitter account for Major League Soccer welcomed the star back:
Dempsey played in MLS from 2004 through 2006 for the New England Revolution and was very successful. He scored 25 goals in 71 appearances with New England. He then went to play in England, spending the last five years between Fulham and Tottenham. In the Premier League, Dempsey scored 57 goals in 212 appearances.
The American is most known in the United States for his play with the U.S. Men's National Team. He is second in goals in the team's history with 35 in 99 matches, according to USSoccer.com. He's been an impact player no matter which club he's on the pitch for, and that's likely one of the things Seattle liked about him.
There’s no question that Dempsey's return to MLS is massive for the league, but it's even more important for the Sounders. Entering Saturday, Seattle is four points out of fifth place in the West. The Sounders still have time to make a move toward the top of the conference standings, and hope is far from lost.
The first half of the season was a disappointment for Seattle, as a slew of injuries plagued the club. General manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer has been focused on adding a player to two aid the team’s chances of making the playoffs. Here’s what he had to say, per Jeremiah Oshan of MLSSoccer.com:
We’re fiddling with some things, trying to free up some space. We are trying to add one or two players that can contribute significantly. One would be good, two would be outstanding, probably defensively or in the midfield.
Hanauer was probably looking for a midfielder, as his club has only scored 24 goals in 19 matches. That’s roughly just over a goal per match. More often than not, one goal won't be enough to win—especially since the defense could use some help too, as the general manager noted. The club needed to add someone who can put the ball in the back of the net.
Dempsey will be the X-factor for Seattle throughout the remainder of the year. He should be able to provide the offense the team so desperately needs. He's a great finisher who will surely help the Sounders compete for a victory each time the club takes the pitch.
To this point in the season, the Sounders have done a good job at staying in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. Now, with Dempsey on the roster, there’s no question they can make up enough ground in the West to clinch a postseason berth.
*All statistics and information in this article was obtained via ESPN unless otherwise noted.