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)
|Player||Team||Points Per 90||MIR|
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?