Clint Dempsey Out for Remainder of 2016 MLS Season with Irregular Heartbeat

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2016

Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey stands during the national anthem before an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Associated Press

Seattle Sounders general manager and president Garth Lagerwey announced Tuesday that star forward Clint Dempsey would miss the remainder of the season because of an irregular heartbeat, according to Ryan Krasnoo of SoundersFC.com.

"If we prioritize this now, hopefully we can get Dempsey back in 2017," Lagerwey said, per Sounders Beat, adding, "Clint has overcome a lot, and I believe he can overcome this as well."

Sounders interim head coach Brian Schmetzer also addressed the media.

"The messaging was not that big of a shock to anybody," he said, according to Sounders Beat. "It's a sad story because Clint is an integral part of the team."

Schmetzer isn't worried about whether his team will fold without Dempsey in the mix as the Sounders pursue a playoff spot:

Dempsey's irregular heartbeat was discovered in August, and he hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 21. He returned to training Sept. 14 but ceased training with the Sounders last week, per Krasnoo.

In total this season, he's made 17 MLS appearances, scoring eight goals and adding two assists.

He remains one of the best players in MLS and one of the truly important contributors for the United States men's national team, and his availability for the country's two World Cup qualifiers in November now seems unlikely.

Former player and current pundit Stuart Holden believes that to be the case:

For Seattle, Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro will have to continue and perhaps even improve upon their strong play in Seattle's attack to make up for Dempsey's absence as the club tries to fight its way into the postseason.

   

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