The Seattle Sounders will have Clint Dempsey when they try to make it to a third straight MLS Cup final.
Seattle general manger Garth Lagerwey confirmed Tuesday that Dempsey agreed to a one-year deal for the 2018 season that will keep the forward with the Sounders. Lagerwey did not get into specifics but did confirm Dempsey will be a designated player and that the one-year deal gives Seattle some salary cap relief.
“Clint worked with us and he’s taking less money than he was on before to come back. Still well-paid, well-compensated, but yes we hope long term that creates a little more balance with respect to our (designated player) spend,” Lagerwey said.
Lagerwey was already looking ahead to next year just three days after the Sounders stumbled in their attempt to win a second straight MLS Cup title.
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With Dempsey secured and 11 other players with their contract options exercised, the Sounders have 22 players under contract.
Lagerwey said he believes Seattle’s roster construction is further ahead of where it was at this point a year ago when the club was celebrating its first MLS title.
An issue Lagerwey may need to resolve is some unhappiness from midfielder Osvaldo Alonso. An original since the club’s expansion season in 2009, Alonso was made available for Tuesday’s MLS expansion draft. Lagerwey said it was a calculated risk making Alonso available so that other players could be protected.
Seattle lost goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the draft, who was taken with the No. 1 pick by the Los Angeles Football Club. The 24-year-old New Jersey native and Northwestern product spent the past two years stuck behind Stefan Frei.