For the first time in nearly six months, Clint Dempsey took the field for the Seattle Sounders.
The U.S. Men’s National Team forward played the first 30 minutes of the Sounders’ first preseason match on Saturday. Played centrally, Dempsey’s appearance was his first since a heart issue sidelined him last August.
“It’s been a rollercoaster,” Dempsey said. “You want to do whatever you can to get back on the field and keep playing. I’ve worked to get back in the position of being on the field, now it’s just about getting sharper, getting touches a little better, passes a little better. I’m looking forward to that process and hopefully being ready for the start of the season. I’m looking forward to the next games and having more of an impact.”
“His recovery is going as scheduled,” Sounders boss Brian Schmetzer added. “That was 30 minutes…we couldn’t give him any more. Next game we’ll ramp him up a little more. We’ll have to get doctors’ clearance. We’re taking it very carefully.”
As for the actual match, the Sounders drew level thanks to a penalty kick from the player that replace Dempsey in the 30th minute, Harry Shipp.
The Sounders return to action on Tuesday for a scrimmage against the San Jose Earthquakes.