The Seattle Sounders march towards the MLS Playoffs will have to be done without forward Clint Dempsey. Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey announced on Tuesday afternoon that the star forward and former USMNT captain will not participate in any further soccer activities as he continues to undergo tests and treatment for an irregular heart, an ailment that was discovered last August.
Dempsey was cleared for light exercise on Sept 14 after undergoing treatment for the ailment and the team was cautiously optimistic the star forward would return to action before the season ended. On Tuesday all bets were off and Dempsey’s season was official.
” Clint Dempsey has been ruled out of the rest of the season and we are not comfortable putting out an kind of pressure on this, his return to play in not important relative to his health both short term and long term and we feel that by ruling him today its puts us in the best position to eventually get him back for the 2017 season,” Lagerwey said during the teams press conference at Starfire Sports Complex which is the teams practice facility.
Dempsey is the USMNT’s second all-time leading goalscorer and joined the Sounders as a Designated Player in August 2013. He has 34 career goals for Seattle in 72 matches over three-plus seasons, including eight tallies this year.