Dempsey returns to MLS with Seattle

Seattle Sounders FC signed United States national team captain Clint Dempsey on Saturday, and he will occupy Seattle's third Designated Player spot.

Because he is a Designated Player, Dempsey does not return to MLS through the allocation ranking order, and he joins the Sounders after spending the previous seven years in the English Premier League.

"This is a historic day for Sounders FC and our fans," said Seattle majority owner Joe Roth. "Clint is a world-class soccer player who can take this club to a higher level. We have been consistent in our message to the fans that we will spare no expense to win trophies."

The 30-year-old Dempsey holds the record for most goals by an American in the English Premier League with 57 during his time with Fulham and Tottenham.

Dempsey began his MLS career in 2004 with the New England Revolution, winning the 2004 Rookie of the Year award and going on to make 71 appearances during his time with the Revs, scoring 25 goals with 14 assists.

He moved to Fulham in 2007 and established himself as one of the team's top offensive options in his final two seasons at Craven Cottage, netting 29 goals in 74 appearances.

Dempsey secured a move to Tottenham last summer and totaled seven goals and six assists in 29 appearances in his lone campaign at White Hart Lane.

"I am very excited about coming back to the MLS and thrilled to be joining Sounders FC," said Dempsey. "Having recently played in Seattle with the national team, I experienced the incredible atmosphere and the passion from the supporters first-hand. It's going to be an honor to represent the fans in Seattle."