Clint Dempsey may have needed to stay in Europe in order to reach the UEFA Champions League but he needed to return to America for this introduction.
The Seattle Sounders unveiled the 30-year-old captain of the U.S. men's national soccer team before a raucous crowd at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night. Before officially introducing the clean-shaven Demspey during the welcome ceremony, Sounders Majority Owner Joe Roth directed fans to watch a special video presentation.
It was certainly special.
The video included highlights of Dempsey's European and U.S. careers as well as segments of the music video for his own rap song "Don't Tread." Following the clip, Roth riffed on the speculation of the #DempseyWatch with just the slightest nod to "The Decision." Asked if he had made up his mind about his next team, Dempsey unzipped his hoodie to reveal a Sounders jersey with his name and signature No. 2 on the back.
Deuce had returned. Even better, he was sporting a hoodie and his own rap lyrics were reverberating through the stadium. Only in America.
"Seattle, I just want to thank y'all and the Seattle Sounders organization for making me feel so welcome and at home," Dempsey began. "I look forward to getting on the field and playing in front of the best fans in the world. I think we'll accomplish some great things here. So, once again, thank you."
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE
The Sounders' bid for Dempsey seemed to materialize overnight after he was spotted at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday. Within 48 hours a transfer had been agreed upon with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. After beginning his career in the MLS with the New England Revolution, Dempsey spent seven seasons in England, notably emerging as a star for Fulham. Dempsey arrived at Craven Cottage via transfer in December 2006 and stayed through the 2011-2012 campaign. The Texan then moved to White Hart Lane ahead of the 2012-13 season on a £6million transfer from Fulham with a three-year deal, according to Sky Sports.
Dempsey becomes the third designated player for the Sounders and Spurs received a transfer $9 million transfer fee, per NBC Sports’ ProSoccerTalk. The Sounders and Dempsey have also reportedly agreed to 4-year contract with $32 million.
And, without further ado, here is a chance to watch more of "Don't Tread"