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February 13, 2015 at 1:37 PM

Clint Dempsey returns to full Sounders training

United States men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey returned to full training with the Sounders training on Friday at Starfire Sports Complex after going through the full USMNT January camp and its pair of early-season friendlies. The forward scored the second goal as the U.S. topped Panama 2-0 in Carson, Calif., on Sunday.

By this point last year, Dempsey already also had a loan spell under his belt with Fulham in the English Premier League — though he said Friday that it’s too early to tell much of a difference.

“To be honest with you, I felt good coming in last season, because it was almost like a preseason going on loan, going over there and getting that work and getting my body right playing at that level,” Dempsey said. “I felt sharp when I came here and I’m feeling sharp for the preseason camp now.

“I think what happened was that, as the season went on, and even after the World Cup, I think there was a bit of a lull there, a little tiredness in the legs. I don’t think I’m going to experience that this year – knock on wood.”

He also talked about the annual USMNT January camp, which coach Jurgen Klinsmann has talked about changing but which Dempsey said helped his transition into the national team.

“January camp is always a place for people to get looks, especially playing the domestic league, because it’s not during a FIFA fixture date,” Dempsey said. “It kind of helped me when I was a younger guy to break into the team. It’s also a chance for the more experienced guys to fight for their place in the team and show that they still want to be there.”

Dempsey and the Sounders train for one more day at Starfire before departing for the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz.

| More in MLS, Sounders FC

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