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Originally published December 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Page modified December 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

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Clint Dempsey deal with Fulham getting closer

Sounders star Clint Dempsey has taken a physical with Fulham of the English Premier League. Dempsey will be on loan to Fulham for two months.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Sounders FC’s Clint Dempsey appears on the verge of a two-month loan to Fulham of the English Premier League.

Reports of the move have persisted recently but Fulham confirmed Friday that Seattle’s designated player had taken a physical with the team. Dempsey played for Fulham from 2007 through 2012.

The Sounders haven’t had an official update, opting to wait until a transaction is finalized, but general manager Adrian Hanauer said earlier this week that a loan this offseason was “likely.”

Addressing a potential Dempsey loan, Fulham coach Rene Meulensteen said on the team’s website: “It would be a real boost for us. Hopefully that will all work out.

“Clint spent so many years playing in the Premier League, and we all know where his strengths are. ... It speaks volumes for him that he wants to come back here. Initially, it’s for January and February.”

U.S. men’s national-team coach Jurgen Klinsmann applauded such a move on Twitter, as he hoped MLS players in the U.S. player pool would stay active in the offseason.

Dempsey, the USMNT captain, had negotiated a clause in his contract with the Sounders that allowed for a one-time loan. It was designed for this offseason as preparation for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Dempsey was voted to the USMNT All-Time Best XI on Friday by a select panel as part of the federation’s centennial celebration. He is one of two active players on the team, along with Landon Donovan, who received the most votes.

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller, Sounders FC’s captain from 2009 to 2011, finished second in the voting to Brad Friedel. Seattle’s sporting director Chris Henderson was also on the ballot.

Note

• Friday marked the first business day the Sounders didn’t make an official transaction since Dec. 6, ending a whirlwind nine-day stretch of roster restructuring.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.



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