Clint Dempsey wins 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Clint Dempsey wins 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award

Photo: Twitter/@SoundersFC Photo: Twitter/@SoundersFC

By Seattle Sounders

Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday that Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey has won the 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award.

The award “honors an MLS player who has overcome injuries and/or adversity to achieve success during the 2017 MLS regular season.” Dempsey edged out Columbus Crew SC’s Federico Higuain and the Houston Dynamo’s Erick “Cubo” Torres.

“Thank you all for selecting me for this award. I would like to thank all of the doctors who helped me, the Sounders organization and my family for their support,” said Dempsey. “It’s been a great season thus far and I would like to recognize my teammates, the coaching staff and the trainers for making it happen. Last but not least, I would like to show love to the fans for always being there for us through thick and thin.”

Dempsey, 34, missed the final third of last year’s regular season and the Sounders’ entire postseason run to their first MLS Cup with an irregular heartbeat, an ailment that potentially threatened his career. He underwent several procedures in the offseason and worked tirelessly to get back to match fitness.

Dempsey responded with unrivaled success in 2017. He scored in Seattle’s first game of the year in March, his first competitive action in seven months. Several weeks later, he recorded a hat trick with the United States national team in a 6-0 rout over Honduras in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier.

All told, Dempsey finished the regular season with a team-high 12 goals and added five assists for a Sounders side that finished second in the Western Conference. He recorded his second-highest goals production in his eight MLS seasons and finished with an MLS career-high 116 shots. Most recently, the Texas native shined for the Rave Green in Leg 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals by tallying both goals in a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. With the goals, Dempsey became the all-time leading goalscorer in Sounders' postseason history. 

He also added five goals and four assists in 11 appearances for the U.S. and helped lead them to the CONCACAF Gold Cup title.

The Sounders will look to return to their second straight MLS Cup when they visit the Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship on Tuesday, Nov. 21 (6:30 p.m. PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM). The two teams will play the second leg at CenturyLink Field on Thursday, Nov. 30 (7:30 p.m. PT; ESPN, ESPN Deportes, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM | TICKETS).

Clint Dempsey 14.52% 26.38% 15.48% 18.79%
Federico Higuain 16.13% 11.96% 26.19% 18.09%
Erick Torres 6.05% 22.39% 15.48% 14.64%
Yordy Reyna 12.9% 8.59% 5.95% 9.15%
Drew Moor 8.87% 3.99% 13.1% 8.65%
Ben Sweat 4.03% 4.29% 5.95% 4.76%