Clint Dempsey has officially made his Seattle Sounders debut, entering as a substitute in the 33rd minute of his team's game against Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon. When Dempsey came on for an injured Obafemi Martins, it marked his first appearance in MLS since coming off the bench for the New England Revolution in the 2006 MLS Cup final.
Dempsey joined the Sounders last Saturday, but was limited to just two full training sessions after a virus kept him off the training pitch on Tuesday.
Dempsey left the Revolution on a $4 million transfer to Fulham, then a record for an outbound MLS player. During his three-year MLS career with New England, Dempsey scored 25 goals and had 14 assists en route to winning the 2004 Rookie of the Year and helping lead the Revolution to two MLS Cup finals.
Those accolades were good enough to garner the attention of the United States national team, for whom he played in the 2006 World Cup, but Dempsey really came into his own after moving to England. His big breakout came during the 2011-12 season when he scored 17 goals in EPL play, a record for an American.
That season prompted him to force a transfer to Tottenham, where he hoped to finally play in Champions League. Dempsey's time at Tottenham did not exactly go as planned, though, because Tottenham missed Champions League play by a single point and Dempsey eventually fell out of favor as the season wore on.
Rather than face a battle for minutes at White Hart Lane, Dempsey accepted a $9 million transfer to the MLS ,where the Sounders were more than happy to make him one of the most significant signings in league history.