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Former Revs coach Steve Nicol disappointed but understanding of Clint Dempsey’s return to Major League Soccer


Clint Dempsey (C) of Tottenham Hotspur clashes with Wes Brown of Sunderland (bottom R) as Sunderland’s Craig Gardner (L) looks on during their football match in the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament at Hong Kong Stadium on July 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Dale de la REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Former New England Revolution coach Steve Nicol is disappointed Clint Dempsey decided it was time to return to Major League Soccer and end his stay in the Premier League. But Nicol, who coached the US national team captain for three seasons in New England, understands Dempsey’s decision and is supportive of his former player’s if it means he’s happy.

“I am disappointed he did not stay in the [Premier] League,” said Nicol in an email. “But if Clint is ready too come home and is happy with the move, then I am happy for him.

“It is superb for MLS, but most of all it shows the ambition of Seattle Sounders.”

The Sounders have broken the MLS transfer record to sign Dempsey from Tottenham -- the second time this year Seattle has broken the league’s transfer record. Oh, and Seattle also made him the highest paid player in league history, according to base salary.

The Texas-native spent three seasons under the Liverpool legend’s gaze and put up excellent numbers as a midfielder for the Revolution. His play in the midfield and ability to score goals as well as fight to win the ball back made Dempsey the most expensive transfer in MLS history in 2007 when Fulham paid a reported $4 million to bring him to Craven Cottage.

Now, it’s only right that in Dempsey’s return he breaks another type of transfer record. The US national team captain will not only become the face of the league alongside Landon Donovan, but he will also become the face of a franchise that outshines every team in attendance at home by a wide margin.

That’s a lot to live up to, but Dempsey hasn’t backed down from a challenge yet and it’s no surprise he’s taking on another one.