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A brief history of Clint Dempsey handshakes

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It’s now at the point where he seems to have one with every teammate.

Over the course of his nearly five years with the Seattle Sounders, there have been several trademark Clint Dempsey celebrations. Among them: “the Jump,” “the Salute,” “the Silencer,” “the Can’t See Me” and “the Titanic.”

Our favorite, though, is when he does personalized handshakes with whomever he combines on a goal. Best we can tell, this started at least as far back as 2012 when longtime friend and teammate Eddie Johnson set him up for a go-ahead goal against Guatemala in a World Cup qualifier. The first iteration with the Sounders was back in 2014 with Osvaldo Alonso, but it has dramatically increased in frequency over the past year or so.

What’s so great about this celebration is that he seems to have personalized one with virtually everyone on the Sounders roster, from fellow Designated Players to rarely used guys off the bench who have little chance of actually scoring. The Sounders Twitter account went so far as giving them names like “the Slap-n-Sip”, “the Mercer Island House Party” and “Sauce szn.”

Sunday’s celebration was notable not just for the relative complexity, but because of who it was with. Jordy Delem had last scored in 2015 with a fourth-division French team. Of the six outfield players on the bench that day, Delem may have been the one least likely to combine with Dempsey on a goal. Yet there he was, receiving a pass from Dempsey, calmly slotting it past Bobby Shuttleworth in the dying moments of the game, and performing “the Caribbean Criss-Cross.”

We don’t know that Dempsey has a handshake for literally every teammate, but we certainly love watching them either way.