MLS

Spurs confirm Dempsey move to MLS

Soccer Clint Dempsey
USA captain Dempsey, 30, first made a name for himself playing for MLS.
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LONDON (AP)

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Tottenham says United States forward Clint Dempsey is returning to Major League Soccer, ending his six-year spell in English soccer.

As first reported by FOX Soccer's Keith Costigan, the Seattle Sounders expressed interest on the former Major League Soccer standout as early as Thursday. Sources confirmed on Friday that Dempsey was close to finalizing a deal with the Western Conference club.

One of the most successful Americans to play in England's top league, Dempsey was first sold from the New England Revolution to Fulham in 2007. Dempsey spent five years playing at Craven Cottage where he scored 50 goals in 184 league appearances and became a fan favorite. Last year with Tottenham, Dempsey scored seven goals in 29 Premier League matches, scored three times in two FA Cup matches and had two more goals in 10 other games.

As his stock in Europe rose, so did Dempsey's role on his national team. He's played in eight games in 2013 for the United States and scored five times. His next international appearance for the Americans will be his 100th, and he's served as the US captain most of this year when Landon Donovan was out.

Tottenham says in a statement Saturday ''we have reached agreement with Major League Soccer for the transfer of Clint Dempsey,'' adding ''we wish Clint every success for the future.''

Dempsey's contract is widely reported as four years and $8 million. Dempsey, who ranks second in USA history with 35 international goals, expressed his admiration for the city Seattle ahead of the United States' World Cup qualifier at CenturyLink Field against Panama back in June.

BURNING PASSION

Leander Schaerlaeckens explains how Clint Dempsey has naturally grown into USA's new leader.

“I’m good friends with Eddie Johnson, and he always tells me what it’s like playing here — playing in front of the fans, just how it’s an atmosphere that’s comparable to what it is in Europe,” Dempsey said. “It’s great to see, because I remember when I first started out in MLS, things weren’t like that. So it’s great to see that the game is building and that there are markets like this where people have passion for the game.

“I almost felt like I was in another country the other day when the Seattle Sounders game was on — I was walking to get dinner, and just walking past a bar, the TV was on and everyone was watching soccer. So for me that was awesome.”

A star for the United States men's national team, Dempsey wasn't a regular in Andre Villas-Boas' starting lineup. Even so, his move is somewhat surprising because Tottenham could also lose forward Gareth Bale this offseason to Real Madrid.

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