Talking Points: Dempsey to Sounders a win for all MLS fans

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1.

Portland Timbers fans are grumbling about their rivals to the north grabbing Clint Dempsey.

But for fans of American soccer, this is a huge positive.

Dempsey is the top American scorer in English Premier League history. At 30, he is still in his prime and a stalwart on the U.S. National Team. Having played overseas since 2006, many here haven’t seen his talents first-hand.

He gives MLS another marketable star, showing the league is well beyond its early days as a cushy pre-retirement destination for over-the-hill Europeans.

2.

The Cleveland Browns practiced in their downtown stadium Saturday in front of 24,000 fans eager for the season to start.

The Browns’ recent lack of success certainly hasn’t dampened fan enthusiasm. You’ve got to think Cleveland fans are still smarting from losing their team in the late 1990s

Seattle sports fans can relate. How many would relish the chance to watch even a struggling Sonics team, as opposed to no team at all.

Absence truly makes the sports fan’s heart grow fonder.

3.

Brazil is sending a message to everyone who plays rugby around the world: You

want to participate in the Rio Olympics? Come talk to us!

Hoping to put on a good show when rugby sevens debuts in the 2016 Games, the Brazilian federation has announced that it will go hunting for players abroad who have the slightest link to Brazilian heritage.

Amid anti-government protests and economic turmoil, Brazil obviously is tackling much bigger problems that are facing the Rio Games.