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Clint Dempsey, Sounders working on deal to keep 'Deuce' in Seattle

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

New contract would sign the 34-year-old for sixth season at CenturyLink Field.

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There has been plenty of speculation about the future of U.S. men’s national team star Clint Dempsey, but the striker is not ready to call it quits, yet.

The Seattle Sounders and Dempsey are working on a new deal that will bring the 34-year-old back to Seattle in 2018, according to multiple league sources. Details of the new contract are not yet known, however, sources indicate both parties are confident a deal will get done.

The Sounders declined to comment. Dempsey’s agent could not immediately be reached for comment.

A new deal would ensure MLS has one of its biggest stars back in 2018, and Dempsey’s hunt for the all-time U.S. men’s national team scoring record would remain active. Despite a successful 2017 season, however, it was not a sure thing that Dempsey will be back.

Dempsey has an option year on his current contract, but with a higher salary number – he made $3.89 million in 2017 – a return would likely necessitate a new deal and a more manageable number. Would there be enough incentive for Dempsey to return?

Dempsey, who will turn 35 in March, nearly saw his career end due to an irregular heartbeat discovered last year. The ailment sidelined Dempsey for six months, from late August 2016 through March 2017. He was cleared to return to the field last February and was back in the lineup for Seattle in the 2017 regular season opener.

He scored 12 goals with five assists in 29 regular season games with Seattle in 2017. Dempsey also scored twice against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Nov. 2 to send the Sounders to the Western Conference final.

Dempsey also returned to the field for the U.S. men’s national team in March and found new life as a super-sub. He scored four goals in World Cup qualification after returning, including a hat trick in his first game back with the U.S. At the Gold Cup this summer, Dempsey scored again to tie Landon Donovan for the all-time lead in goals for the U.S. men’s national team, with 57.

Those performances proved he had plenty left to give.

After a career that has taken him from MLS to England and back, however, some wondered whether Dempsey would hang up the boots for good – especially after the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup. The tournament next summer in Russia felt like a natural objective for Dempsey, and without a trip to the World Cup on the line, Dempsey might have used a run through the playoffs this season as his farewell tour.

It looks like there is plenty left to play for beyond a potential MLS Cup this season, however, including that U.S. goal-scoring record, and Dempsey appears set to be back in the Rave Green next spring.

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