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Dempsey Opens Up About MLS Return

  • SI.com, Tuesday, August 13, 2013 1:49 PM
In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, Clint Dempsey cites family as one of the main reasons for his decision to return to MLS and the Seattle Sounders from Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. In fact, the versatile forward says he didn’t even consult Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas once he learned that a move to MLS was a possibility, even though AVB later told him that he was part of his plans for the forthcoming season.

“I really just had a heart-to-heart with my family, talked to my wife, to my mom and dad, to my brothers and my sister. And had a few sleepless nights just going over that decision and wanting to make sure I was making it for the right reasons, and that I felt good about it,” Dempsey says. “You have to get that gut feeling that you're doing the right thing.”

The USA captain adds that he wanted to return to the league where he got his start in 2004 while he is still in his prime. His main goals, he says, are to win an MLS Cup and to get back to ‘the old me,’ which he explains here:

“I grew up watching South American soccer. That's really what I enjoyed, being on the ball a little more, a little more creativity. It felt like when I went to Europe it kind of hindered that a little bit. It was more one- and two-touch and never lose the ball, that kind of thing. It helped me be more of a complete player and see the field better and make quicker decisions, but I feel like I have a good mix now, and I want to get back more to that creative style.”

Dempsey adds that he is “grateful” for having had the opportunity to play for AVB and for a big club like Tottenham. When asked if he would return to Europe this winter on loan during the MLS off-season, the 30-year-old was coy: “[A European loan] is something for down the road, you know what I mean?”

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