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August 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

SI.com explains in full detail how Sounders, MLS landed Clint Dempsey

Sounders leadership was anxious to show off its latest acquisition to fans Saturday: USMNT star Clint Dempsey. Dempsey is flanked by majority owner Joe Roth (second from left), GM/owner Adrian Hanauer, and president Peter McLoughlin. Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times.

Sounders FC leadership was anxious to show off its latest acquisition to fans Saturday: USMNT captain Clint Dempsey. Dempsey is flanked by majority owner Joe Roth (second from left), GM/owner Adrian Hanauer, and president Peter McLoughlin. Photo credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times.

Required reading today comes from Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, who writes in great detail how Sounders FC and MLS were able to acquire Clint Dempsey.

Be sure to give it a look, and here are some key points, again, as reported by Wahl:

— The move was two weeks in the works as Sounders officials learned of the possibility July 18.
— Owner Joe Roth has wanted Dempsey for a while, but the team was frequently told “no chance.”
— Dempsey was interested in playing for Seattle, Los Angeles and Toronto. Though Toronto agreed it was best an American team got the USMNT captain and the Galaxy is set to make Omar Gonzalez its third DP.
— The $9 million transfer fee was paid by the league (though Wahl notes that an MLS official disputes that characterization). 
— Dempsey’s salary over a three-and-a-half year contract is $24 million total, $6.86 million per year. More than David Beckham’s previous record of $6.5 million (though Wahl notes Beckham earned a royalty off ticket and jersey sales).
— Dempsey is allowed to go on one offseason loan during the span of the contract, and it is expected to come after this season to stay sharp for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
— Dempsey was sneaked off the plane on the tarmac Thursday night upon arriving in Seattle, so that’s how he avoided the fans looking for him at the airport.
— Some executives around the league weren’t exactly pleased with how the whole process went.

*     *     *

Here is more reaction to the Dempsey signing from ESPN.com, The Washington Post, Soccer By Ives, SI.com and MLSsoccer.com.

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