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.
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:
Sounders Beat @SoundersBeat
Schmetzer: "We miss him, but we've had some good results. It's a strong group."2016-9-27 18:55:45
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:
Stuart Holden @stuholden
And for the #USMNT you'd assume. Best wishes with @clint_dempsey in return to full health on and off field https://t.co/qVzKLurn142016-9-27 18:52:23
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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