View from Couch: Dempsey has provided plenty, but is an MLS Cup coming?

The 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs are back on Tuesday and in advance of the Conference Championship first legs, Senior Editor Ben Couch examines one of the best, and yet still unfinished, stories of the 2017 season: Clint Dempsey's stellar comeback from a heart ailment that threatened the remainder of his career.

Clint Dempsey is accomplished. A staggering success, risen from Nacogdoches, Texas to Fulhamerica, from Furman to USMNT icon, from Revolution Rookie of the Year to Sounders star DP.

As my people say each year at Passover, had Deuce given us all that, and had to call it a career last summer: Dayenu. It would have been enough.

And yet. And yet, and yet, and yet. The Sounders won MLS Cup. Without him in the 18. Not without the hand of fate, a couple of crossbars and clutch-goal GAWD Roman Torres. But still.

It was weird. Clint was there. Celebrating and bestowing upon us the glorious Hoodie Clint/Kermit the Frog meme, but somehow distanced.

The game, which Toronto dominated on the field before being undone by penalty kicks, was of a kind desperate for Deuce: Low-scoring, tense, aching for a moment of magic, something unexpected to annihilate the anodyne.

I'll never be convinced he wouldn't have won that thing. Which is why, from where the narrative sits, it feels a little incomplete. For Seattle, for Dempsey, for closure.

And yet, dayenu. Seattle won a Cup! Dempsey is healthy! His season was productive! An award says so! He just re-signed for 2018! These are all great things.

Greater still is that we've got many games to go before Dempsey's tale is told, and you can bank that even if he never lets on, Deuce is raring to prove he can put Seattle over the top one more time.

The Sounders are on the precipice. If they get back to Cup, for either the rematch everyone's anticipated in Toronto or a rousing Columbus crowd, count on Clint to keep things interesting. He always does.

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