In 2012, it seemed Clint Dempsey was poised to have a career year. He openly expressed his interest to play for a Champions League team. He made it clear any team wanting to sign him should put an offer on the table. Rumors of a transfer to Liverpool led many to believe Dempsey was the real deal. He seemed determined to step up to the challenge of playing for a well respected team in the tournament. Not a lot, if any American players have had the opportunity that was about to be given to him. Dempsey was eager for the opportunity after months of speculation if the deal would happen. Ultimately however, the move did not happen. He opted to sign a three-year contract at Tottenham for around 6 million Euros. That year he ended up scoring 7 goals in league play and twelve overall for the Spurs. Not fantastic, but respectable nonetheless. Surely, better results were to come his way the following year. With the next season being the last before the World Cup in Brazil, no one considered a move to MLS a possibility. He was in Europe playing against the world’s best in his best years, which to the majority, is most important in preparation for a World Cup. As long as you’re putting yourself against the best competition possible, that’s all a national team coach can ask for.
Instead, this past August, he opted to move back to the United States signing a contract worth $32 million over four years with the Seattle Sounders. So much for a shot at the winning the “big ears”. According to Sports Illustrated, his reasons for leaving were to be close to family. He also claimed he is in the prime of his career. Just stop and think about that. Yes your family is here, but you’re not going to play forever. You’re 30 years old. Why not wait another four years to come back, let alone until the next World Cup is over? What’s the rush? He has a few years left in him to play at the highest level. In addition to Michael Bradley’s move to Toronto at the ripe age of 26, it seems as if monetary security is more important to these players than a challenge. If not, then Dempsey has a lot of explaining to do, because he sure isn’t playing like he’s in his prime.