Some of you have probably already seen this article by Grant Wahl in Sports Illustrated, where he outlines the behind-the-scenes story of how Seattle signed Clint Dempsey.
The interesting part is the following:
He (Dempsey) was up for coming back to MLS, but the only teams he was interested in playing for were Seattle, Los Angeles and Toronto. . . Los Angeles and Toronto were also interested in ponying up for Dempsey, multiple sources said, but Toronto (which is working on its own Designated Player deals) accepted that it was better for the league if Dempsey were playing in a U.S. city. Moreover, Los Angeles is expected to announce soon that it has filled its maximum three DP slots with the extension of Omar González's contract.
He actually wanted to play for TFC???
Is this a sign of a change in the atmosphere surrounding TFC? Everything I've heard before indicated that players were understood TFC to be a poisonous atmosphere - and you have to know that Dempsey would have been well-informed through his contacts with the USMNT and MLS colleagues.
Plus, standing aside because TFC understood that it would be in MLS' interest for Dempsey to sign with an American club hopefully improves the relationship between TFC and the league, which some people think is less affectionate than it had once been.
So, a sign of hope?