Clint Dempsey Deal Opens Doors for Rest of MLS

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Guest writer Matt Barbour gives us a look at what the Clint Dempsey signing means for the rest of Major League Soccer.

Editor's Note: Please welcome guest writer Matt Barbour of MLSSoccer.com to Big D Soccer.

Clint Dempsey's shock return to MLS might just be the tip of the iceberg for big name signings that still have years left in their prime.

FC Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo says FCD was never in the running for the Nacogdoches, TX, native's services and admitted he had questions about why the returning USMNT player allocation order was not followed in spite of Dempsey's Designated Player status. But he thinks the lesson to be learned is find that special player, and the league will work with clubs to make a deal happen.

"I think they are, at the league level right now, [trying] to help teams to achieve some of those situations," said Clavijo. "I do not know what the league did for Seattle because they haven't said that to anybody... [but] I know the league is always trying to improve the way to bring in younger players or bring in [special] players to the league and hopefully we can benefit sooner or later."

SI.com's Grant Wahl reported that MLS paid Dempsey's $9 million transfer fee to former club Tottenham Hotspur. League officials have not confirmed that this is the case, but Clavijo did say if that is indeed the way the Dempsey deal went down, it could impact the team's player acquisition strategy moving forward.

"Absolutely, I think it brings a lot of things for everybody to be aware of. This is a special case, it happened once, but for sure now everybody is going to try and look at it and try to be creative," said Clavijo.

[Editor's Note: Fernando Clavijo did not confirm that any of the reporting in the referenced SI.com piece by Grant Wahl was accurate. He was simply responding to the writer's line of questioning.]

As for this season, don't expect FCD to make any more major moves via international player signing or trades. When asked if the club was exploring possible player swaps within MLS, Clavijo said that they would always listen if approached with an opportunity to improve the club, but that they weren't actively pursuing any deals.

"I think we have a pretty talented roster right now. For 15 games we were the best team in the league and we need to get back to where we were before. I think it's more about finding out inside the locker room where we are than trying to find [someone] outside the locker room. I think we need to identify what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong and correct it."

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