Just as it appeared as if we’d gotten some good news on Clint Dempsey’s condition, an unfortunate update comes our way today. The Seattle Sounders have ruled out the U.S. national team’s 2nd all-time leading goalscorer for the rest of the MLS season with an irregular heartbeat.
NEWS: Clint Dempsey ruled out for remainder of the 2016 @MLS season: https://t.co/8CWiYUYWUH pic.twitter.com/4crdVs2f8q— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) September 27, 2016
It’s a bit of a vague announcement as it doesn’t say if that’s just the regular season (5 more games) or through the entire playoffs. This is key considering the timing for the USMNT’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica to begin the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
The news Tuesday will certainly affect Dempsey's availability for the U.S. national team’s upcoming friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand next month and potentially the team’s World Cup qualifying matches against Mexico and Costa Rica in November.
While no one is sure of the timetable for his exact return, it doesn’t look likely he’ll be available for Jurgen Klinsmann for those two important matches.
Despite what the official release says, our pals at Sounder At Heart say that no further updates will be given on Dempsey’s status until next preseason. This would make it very unlikely he’ll be available.
The utmost importance is Dempsey’s long-term health, but once that’s squared away, it’s up in the air when his playing career will/could resume.
Dempsey returned to Sounders training a few weeks ago, giving the club optimism that he’d return soon, but soon after, he once again departed the team due to his condition.
We hope he gets healthy soon and makes his return to the national team.