Sounders' Clint Dempsey wins MLS Comeback Player

Dempsey's career was sidetracked a year ago by an irregular heartbeat that forced him to the sideline during Seattle's run to its first MLS Cup title.

TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) - Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey has been named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year after a heart condition put his career in jeopardy.

Dempsey was the choice after scoring 12 goals in the regular season and leading Seattle to a second-place finish in the MLS Western Conference in the regular season. The Sounders will face Houston in the Western Conference finals beginning next week.

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"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's career was sidetracked a year ago by an irregular heartbeat that forced him to the sideline during Seattle's run to its first MLS Cup title. Dempsey had two procedures to help correct the condition.

Federico Higuain of Columbus and Erick Torres of Houston were the other finalists.