The first day of the MLS preseason brought spectacular news to the Seattle Sounders and U.S. Men’s National Team, as Clint Dempsey trained in full with the Sounders on Tuesday.
Dempsey, who was out since late August with an irregular heartbeat, is medically cleared to participate in regular soccer activities after missing the final two months of the regular season, Seattle’s run to MLS Cup and the first two Hexagonal matches played by the USMNT.
“We’ve been pleased with his progress,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said. “His attitude has been awesome, he’s worked really hard. He’s now progressed to a point where he’s able to rejoin the team on a regular basis. We still have some steps to get through. We’re excited about what the future may hold.”
Dempsey may not return to game action right away for the Sounders given his long layoff and the need to get back to full fitness, but Lagerwey didn’t rule out an appearance by the American during the Carolina Challenge Cup.
“We’re going to see how this goes,” Lagerwey said. “I can’t be complimentary enough about how hard Clint has worked. It is not easy to take that kind of time off given his experience and bounce back right away. He’s been really positive and a really good influence in our locker room as well.”