Sounders forward Clint Dempsey on Wednesday was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year after scoring a team-high 12 goals a season after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat condition that could have ended his career.
Clint Dempsey says he has yet to write the final chapter on his storybook comeback season.
After being named MLS Comeback Player of the Year, the Sounders forward on Wednesday talked about the importance of big games and even bigger moments, something he missed during last year’s MLS Cup championship run when sidelined by an irregular heartbeat.
Now, with sources confirming he has agreed to a one-year contract extension for 2018, Dempsey is focused on next week’s Western Conference Finals opener at Houston and helping the Sounders return to the title game.
“I really don’t look at individual awards that much, to be honest with you,” Dempsey, 34, said after edging Federico Higuain of Columbus and Houston striker Erick Torres to capture the award. “It’s more just enjoying the game, where you’re at. Enjoying your play and making the most of your career. That’s the ups and the downs and the roller coaster of everybody’s career that they experience.
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“The things that mean the most that I’ll look back on will be the games that I’ve played in, the big moments and the battles,” he added. “That’s what I’ll look back on.”
Few goals scored by Dempsey in a Sounders uniform since 2013 were bigger than the two he potted against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week in a clinching conference semifinal victory.
“It’s tough to be on the sidelines, not being able to contribute and help your teammates out when they’re battling in games,’’ Dempsey said of last year’s diagnosis, which ended his season in August and at one point appeared career threatening. “So that was the goal. To get back in and compete and be someone who…