United States football player Clint Dempsey is set to return for Major League Soccer side Seattle sounders as he has been cleared to return to the sport after a long-term injury layoff.

The former Premier League star has not played professional football since August after he underwent surgery to address a heart condition.

Dempsey was cleared to return after featuring in two pre season matches that went well. The 33-year old is close to regaining full fitness and ready to help when the team defends the MLS Cup it won last year. Sounders trounced Toronto in a penalty shootout, so they would be looking at defending their title this term.

“Right now the focus is getting through this year, playing again and making an impact on the field. The minutes will keep going up and I’ll keep pushing in training,” Dempsey said.

On his fitness level, he said: “I feel like I’m finally getting close: 85 percent, 90 percent back to full fitness. Whether it’s the training staff here or in other places, everybody is one the same page of how I should be progressing. As of right now, everything is going great.”

On the international scene, Coach Bruce Arena has said that the player would not feature in the crucial games against Honduras and Panama.

“You take six or eight months away from the game, it takes you a while to get back. I’m just hopeful that when March comes around that he can be part of Seattle’s plans in Major League Soccer and as he continues during the season, hopefully he can come back to the national team,” Arena posited.

Arena is taking no chance in the must-win games for United States in the World Cup qualifiers. The team slipped in the first two games but these next fixtures would largely determine their end.

Comments are closed.