MLS Ticker: Dempsey’s first match in Texas sold out; TFC make Urruti signing official; and more

ClintDempseySeattleSounders1-TFC (Getty)

By KEVIN KOCZWARA

Clint Dempsey’s return to his home state of Texas looks like it will be an eventful one. The Seattle Sounders latest Designated Player is set to walk into a sold out BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday when the Sounders take on the Houston Dynamo.

The Dynamo announced on Thursday that Saturday’s game against the Sounders had sold out. The game is set to be Dempsey’s second match for the Sounders since joining the team earlier this month from Tottenham of the English Premier League, but it’s the first game for the US men’s national team captain in his home state since returning to Major League Soccer — Dempsey, who grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, which is more than a two hour drive from Houston.

With an injury to Obafemi Martins and suspension to Eddie Johnson, Dempsey is likely to be forced into the starting lineup for the match as the Sounders are low on other options while the U.S. Men’s National Team star returns to match fitness.

Here are some more stories from around the league:

TORONTO FC SIGN URRUTI

After six long months of negotiations, Maximiliano Urruti is finally a member of Toronto FC, the club announced on Friday. The Argentine forward arrived in Canada on Tuesday has been training with Toronto since Wednesday in anticipation of the move.

Urruti spent the past three seasons at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina’s First Division and made 56 appearances, scoring 14 goals in the league and Copa Libertadores. As per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. He will be added to the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

“We are thrilled to finally get this deal concluded for Maximiliano Urruti. He is a player that we have been aware of for nearly two years and we have scouted him extensively in person,” Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne told the team’s official website. “We think he’s really going to help our team and he is going to be an exciting player for our league so we couldn’t be happier about this outcome.”

RECENT DYNAMO AND RED BULLS SIGNINGS RECEIVE VISAS

Both the Houston Dynamo and the New York Red Bulls received good news this week.

The Dynamo’s marquee summer signing, Alexander Lopez, and one of three signings for the Red Bulls this summer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, both acquired their P-1 Visas and are eligible to play for their clubs immediately.

Lopez, signed as a young designated player, could potentially see his first action as a Dynamo player on Saturday against the Seattle Sounders. According to club officials, Lopez had his Visa approved Thursday and he is available for selection by Dynamo head coach Dominc Kinnear. The Honduran international trained for the first time with his new club on Friday.

Wright-Phillips, who was signed by the Red Bulls on July 24, has been away getting his documents taken care of in England since early August. According to reports, the winger was in training on Friday, but head coach Mike Petke isn’t planning to select Wright-Phillips for Saturday’s match against the Philadelphia Union.

REVOLUTION MIDFIELDER GOES UNDER THE KNIFE

New England Revolution midfielder Gabe Latigue, 22, will miss six to nine months after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee on Thursday. He was injured on July 15 during a training session with the Rochester Rhinos, where he was on loan.

The midfielder has only featured in the U.S. Open Cup for the Revolution this year because he’s spent most of the season with the Revs’ USL affiliate, the Rhinos, where he’s played 16 times and recorded two assists.

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What do you think of these reports? Excited to hear that the Dynamo vs. Sounders match is sold out? Do you see Urruti contributing much this season? Do you see Lopez/Wright-Phillips playing this weekend?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to MLS Ticker: Dempsey’s first match in Texas sold out; TFC make Urruti signing official; and more

  1. Gnarls says:

    Are we seeing the first instance of the Dempsey Effect? MLS Attendance Blog says Houston is averaging 90% capacity this season. Maybe now the naysayers are understanding why MLS paid that heft transfer?

    • SteveE says:

      Yes and no. This is his home state debut so if this was DC would it be like that? Maybe not, but Texas is going to get a bump

      • Sean says:

        I live in DC. Only been to RFK once this year and that was for USMNT. Went 3 times last year. I would definitely go to see Dempsey. At least once. Depends on how well he and the team plays to see if the bump continues past the inital wave.

    • Bean says:

      3 out of the last five Houston home matches have been sell-outs. The other two were 90%. There might have been a bump, but you cannot see any difference looking at the last five.

    • Pepe says:

      The complain about the transfer fee isn’t that Dempsey wouldn’t be good for the league (of course he is), but that it isn’t fair that the league pays for one team to have a great player.

      • Gnarls says:

        Understood. And it is unfair from a competitive standpoint, but from an economic standpoint, most clubs get a boost.

      • Alex Gago says:

        It’s building the league. Look American we don;t like foreign super stars. American soccer fans love American born and bread soccer stars not foreign star how come here. Deuce, Donovan and yes the future Soccer Supper star Altidore is why this deal had to happen. Were Americans and we are loyal to our players.

    • SanFran415 says:

      They’ve sold out 3 of their last 5 matches–and Texas is Dempsey’s home state. What effect?

      • Gnarls says:

        Their 2013 average has been 90% full (link to mlsattendance.blogspot.com). But yes, considering it’s texas, maybe not the best baseline. We’ll see how Seattle’s upcoming games go. As a Galaxy fan, I’m very excited for Sept. 21.

        • Jay Bonds says:

          If only the high rate in the stands translates to the numbers on TV. NBC Sports cannot get 100,000 viewers with their MLS coverage even with pre game post game etc – only ESPN gets close to 100k thanks to a friend at ESPN operations. So can’t wait to laugh at their demands for a pay day when TV contracts expires when nobody is watching.

  2. Pepe says:

    Shame that the Houston-Seattle game won’t be nationally televised. It’ll be a great environment, and it’s an important game for both teams.

  3. Kevin says:

    We’re lucky Dempsey is playing at all after he hackjob TFC put on him last weekend. Hack Henry put Obafemi Martins out of the game first, then got a few ankle kicks in on Dempsey and scored an own goal before picking up a yellow card and toning it down… Should be shunned.

  4. AcidBurn says:

    Let’s wait until we see attendance for Seattle-Chivas at the HDC. Sell that one out and yeah, that is the Deuce effect.

  5. MrStylz says:

    Dempsey playing would make me more interested in attending a Sounders game vs my local team.

    Just sayin’…. If I got a choice of, say, 3 games a year, i’d make sure 1 one seattle…or i’d put in another game just to see Seattle/Dempsey

  6. Branden says:

    No one calling shenanigans on TFC bringing in an under-contract player after the window has closed?

    Surprised