There once was a time when American soccer players who played in American soccer leagues got accused of sandbagging by American soccer fans. The old, “You’re not a real player unless you play in Europe.” Well, that’s not the case anymore, as the best American soccer player maybe ever will be coming back to play in the MLS. Good and bad.
Clint Dempsey was signed by the Seattle Sounders for £9M from Tottenham, where he played for 2 seasons. Here’s why this is good:
1) More people will watch the MLS.
2) More good players will come to the MLS.
3) American soccer players will become better as a result of having a better domestic league.
Here’s why it might not be so good:
1) Less top quality foreign competition could affect Dempsey going into Brazil 2014.
Depending on how far down the road you want to look, this move is at best a signal U.S. Soccer is growing up. At worst, it’s a vacation for our best export since we invented beef.