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Clint Dempsey’s health will determine direction of next DP signing

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Garth Lagerwey strongly suggests no signing will happen until there’s certainty around forward’s status.

With a large revenue base, grand ambitions and a potentially open Designated Player spot, the rumors surrounding the Seattle Sounders include some of the larger names associated with MLS. But those rumors will take time to come to fruition. President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey will wait on that big move until he knows the status of Clint Dempsey.

“We’ve got to be cautious in terms of DP expenditures,” Lagerwey said to MLSsoccer.com. “We have to, I would say, be strategic with respect to Dempsey. We’re not going to know with certainty for a while yet. We’re going to be absolutely safe and cautious with Clint until we determine what his status is and what it’s going to be long term. It’s just difficult to try to make moves because it’s hard to anticipate.”

Dempsey is attempting to return to play after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. He has had procedures to fix the issue and has been training with the team since before MLS Cup, but is still working his way back to full soccer training.

Seattle could start the 2017 season with just Nicolas Lodeiro and Osvaldo Alonso as their only healthy DPs. In a best-case world they get both ClintDempsey and a new DP during the season, finding a way to buy down Alonso or extend him to lower his cap hit.

They will also need to save a significant amount of Targeted Allocation Money for use when they know Dempsey’s status. That will leave them with more traditional additions - trades, the Draft and lower level international signings - prior to the season starting. The primary transfer window for MLS closes in early May.