While every player on a team will tell you that Championship is the ultimate goal, there a few individual awards that a team player can appreciate. MVP, Lady Bing in the NHL, Art Rooney in the NFL, NBA Sportsmanship Award and MLS Comeback Player of the year.
The above trophies are awarded for going beyond the physical and mental rigors of the game. The Seattle Sounders Clint Dempsey was named Comeback player of 2017 by MLS on Tuesday afternoon.
Dempsey was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in August 2016 and sidelined him for the Sounders 2016 title run. While he was unable to compete in games, Dempsey worked his way back on the pitch for the start of the 2017 MLS season.
Dempsey had a strong start to the season scoring two goals in his first three games then hit hyper mode with a run of seven goals in six games this summer. The streak began at Portland on June 25, with the Nacogdoches, Texas native coming off the bench to score in the waning moments of stoppage time to force a 2-2 draw.
He went on to score braces in two of his next three games, as the Rave Green recorded a club-record 13-match unbeaten streak (7-0-6) over the summer.
Dempsey’s success continued into the Western Conference Semifinals against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, where he scored twice in the second leg to propel Seattle into a Conference Championship matchup with Houston. Dempsey is currently the club’s all-time leading postseason goal-scorer with five goals in 11 appearances.
” 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,” Dempsey said of the award.
“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.”
Dempseys 46 regular-season goals for Seattle are just one goal shy of the Sounders FC all-time club scoring record held by Fredy Montero. In the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, Dempsey has already added two more goals to his tally this season, scoring a brace against Vancouver to seal the semifinal-round victory on November 2.