The result wasn’t what Clint Dempsey and the defending MLS Cup champions wanted, a 2-1 defeat to Houston Dynamo to start their 2017 season, but the USMNT player and his club will be delighted that he was able to play 90 minutes and score a goal after six months out with an irregular heartbeat.
Dempsey was sidelined last August after the issue was diagnosed, making him a spectator for Seattle’s improbable MLS Cup triumph, but he was cleared to return to play this preseason. Dempsey picked up right where he left off for Seattle, scoring their lone goal in a 2-1 defeat to Houston.
The fact that Dempsey was able to play the full 90 minutes will be of even greater importance to USMNT coach Bruce Arena. Dempsey remains an invaluable component of the national team, as evidenced by the team’s miserable start to the Hex.