Seattle Sounders new-boy returned to the MLS earlier this month.
Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter insists he is aware of the threat Clint Dempsey will pose to his side when they meet Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
Dempsey – considered by the 38-year-old to be up there with the best in American Soccer history – is expected to make play his first Sounders match at the Century Link Field, in what promises to be a memorable occasion following his return to Major League Soccer earlier in August.
And Porter admits to being wary of the United States international’s capacity to turn the tide of a game after witnessing his development as a player in the English Premier League during five years at Fulham and a season with Tottenham Hotspur.
“He’s one of the best players in the league, if not the best player, arguably,” Porter said to MLS Soccer. “He still has to prove that in the league, but based on what he’s done overseas he’s arguably the best American player of all time.
“You have to put him and Landon Donovan in that category. I’m sure there will be a big debate on that. … You have to be aware of where he floats and where he moves because when he does pop up he can punish you, he can hurt you.”
Whilst the threat of Dempsey is cause concern Porter is insistent that their fierce north American rivals had a strong squad before the 30-year-old’s arrival.
“They were one of the most talented teams in the league without Dempsey, and now they’ve got Dempsey,” He added “So individually they just have more than we have. And we need to make sure we’re aware of that and respect that.”