Clint Dempsey joins Sounders, how does he rank among historical Designated Players?

Jamie McDonald

U.S. Men's National Team captain Clint Dempsey has completed a transfer to the Seattle Sounders and will be a Designated Player. Dempsey spent three seasons in MLS before heading to Europe, so how did his numbers stack up against all-time Designated Players?

Clint Dempsey has returned to MLS following a transfer to the Seattle Sounders. The captain of the United States Men's National Team spent three seasons in MLS with the New England Revolution (2004-2006), before going to Europe to continue his career. How does his previous time in MLS rank against all-time Designated Players? We look to the Match Impact Rating for some comparison.

Dempsey scored 25 goals and added 14 assists to his account for the Revs but something else that was consistent during his career in the U.S. as well as abroad was the ability to draw fouls. Before the start of the 2013 season, there had been 22 Designated Players in MLS to play multiple seasons. Looking at the Match Impact Ratings, it isn't hard to see why Deuce was an overseas target.

Dempsey Average Ranks Per Season vs. DPs

Goals: (8.3) 9th
Assists: (4.7) 9th
Scoring Chance Percentage: 14.4 (10th)
Fouls Suffered Per 90 Minutes: 2.91 (4th)
MIR: 46.7 (3rd)

Top Designated Players and Clint Dempsey
Player Team Points Per 90 MIR
David Ferreira DAL .70 57.8
Cuauhtemoc Blanco CHI .74 55.5
Clint Dempsey NE .57 46.7
Fredy Montero SEA .77 45.4
Landon Donovan LAG .87 44.5
Robbie Keane LAG .90 43.2
Freddie Ljungberg SEA/CHI .49 41.7
Danny Koevermans TFC .93 41.2
Alvaro Saborio RSL .70 38.9
Thierry Henry NY .86 38.3

While Dempsey was in the Top 10 in goals, assists and scoring chance percentage vs. Designated Players, only Ferreira (3.35), Blanco (3.12) and Ljungberg (2.95) drew more fouls per 90 minutes than Deuce. Since leaving MLS, the former Rookie of the Year in the league, went on to score 50 goals in the EPL for Fulham and seven more for Tottenham Hotspur. With the pieces around him in Seattle, it would be hard to imagine Dempsey not performing at a high level. The real question for me is what can the LA Galaxy and the rest of the league do to top this signing?

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