Clint Dempsey makes his first start in over six months Saturday evening as the Seattle Sounders kick off their MLS title defense against the Houston Dynamo.
Dempsey last played in an official game back on Aug. 21, 2016, scoring a brace in a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers. He was sidelined for the remainder of the season with a heart condition and was unable to participate in the Sounders run to the MLS Cup title.
The attacker, who also missed the United States national team’s World Cup qualifiers in October and November of 2016, did suit up in Seattle’s friendlies in the lead up to the 2017 season.
The 33-year-old Dempsey has scored 34 goals in his 72 games in Seattle, after joining from Tottenham midway through the 2013 season. He has also added 22 assists over that span.