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Clint Dempsey. Photo via Seattle Sounders

What happens when an international soccer star arrives secretly in your hometown, setting off a social media storm of epic proportions?

Seattle Sounders FC fans — and anyone else following the action at #DempseyWatch on Twitter over the last few days — just found out. U.S. Men’s National Team captain Clint Dempsey signed with the club, unveiling himself at midfield at the Sounders match on Saturday evening by ripping off a gray hoodie and revealing the rave green jersey of the Sounders.

The place went wild, and the “DempseyWatch” mystery was solved.

The whole spectacle was so masterfully produced, one has to wonder if it was, in fact, produced. (Everything from Dempsey getting spotted at an airport in San Francisco to the attacking midfield joining the “crazies” in the south goal mouth before kick off to the huge unfurling of a banner at CenturyLink Field which read Keep Calm #DempseyWatch).

After all, it’s not lost on us that one of the Sounders’ owners, Hollywood mogul Joe Roth is the guy who produced the classic sports movie Major League and dozens of other films.

The Sounders are continuing to capitalize on social media with their new star, partnering with Redmond social media aggregation startup Tagboard to keep everyone up-to-date on the action. The Tagboard includes a photo gallery of Dempsey’s arrival at the stadium, as well as video clips, not to mention countless reactions of fans Tweeting under #DempseyFound.

The Sounders FC plan to host Dempsey today at a news conference, which is being broadcast live on their Web site at 2 p.m.

soundersWe chatted with Sounders FC co-owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer about social media, big data in sports and, of course, soccer on the most recent GeekWire podcast and radio show. (The recording took place about an hour before the #DempseyWatch storm hit).

We asked Hanauer why he personally doesn’t have a Twitter account, though he did talk about his distant and unknown “cousin” who runs @FakeAdrianHanauer.

“Sometimes it is funny,” he said of the person who mimics him on Twitter. “I’ve been tempted so many times (to join Twitter). But I am tempted, when it would be really bad if I Tweeted. I don’t want to put myself in a position where I am saying something stupid or getting combative with a fan or someone… It seems like a no win for me.

And, by the way, folks, we do still have tickets available for GeekWire Sounders Day on September 4th. With Dempsey likely to be in the lineup by that time (perhaps his only second start at home), we’re expecting a good-old time! Details on GeekWire Sounders Day, hosted on the rooftop deck of EMC/Isilon, here.

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Some of the action going on that Tagboard is aggregating for the Sounders FC

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