Dempsey out for rest of MLS season with heart issue

Clint Dempsey

General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey made the announcement during media availability Tuesday.

We hope he gets healthy soon and makes his return to the national team. "His return to play is not important, relative to his health both short-term and long-term and we feel by ruling him out today, it puts us in the best position to eventually get him back, hopefully for the 2017 season".

Club doctors first discovered Dempsey's irregular heartbeat in late August, and hasn't featured for club or country since.

The 33-year old has been out of action since being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat last month.

The seventh-place Sounders have gone 2-1-1 since Dempsey was sidelined. He actually returned to the team on September 14th and participated in some light workouts.

"He was still undergoing an evaluation and that's why he had not been cleared to return to play", Lagerwey said.

"Unfortunately, we are going to rule him out for the rest of the season..." Dempsey will miss the Sounders' pursuit of the MLS Cup, Team USA's exhibition games against Cuba (Oct. 7) and New Zealand (Oct. 11) and, crucially, the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Mexico (Nov. 11) and Costa Rica (Nov. 16). Star forward Clint Dempsey is done for the season.

Interim head coach Brian Schmetzer said Dempsey has declined to speak publicly about the medical issue and the club is respecting his privacy.