Dempsey at home and one goal from record

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Stephen Hawkins

AR­LING­TON, TEXAS» Clint Dempsey is back in his home state of Texas, one goal away from a na­tional scor­ing record for the United States team that is one win from play­ing in an­other CONCACAF Gold Cup fi­nal.

The Amer­i­cans play a semi­fi­nal game Satur­day night against Costa Rica in a sta­dium syn­ony­mous with Amer­i­can foot­ball — the home of the NFL’s Dal­las Cow­boys, the Cot­ton Bowl and where the first Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off cham­pi­onship game was played three sea­sons ago.

That is about 180 miles from Dempsey’s home­town of Nacog­doches.

“It’s al­ways great to be home and play in front of fam­ily and friends, es­pe­cially for a big game,” Dempsey said Fri­day. “I have great mem­o­ries of play­ing in Dal­las as a kid, and I’m proud to rep­re­sent Nacog­doches. Be­ing from there made me who I am.”

Dempsey, one goal from match­ing Lan­don Dono­van’s Amer­i­can record of 57 na­tional team goals, wasn’t part of soc­cer’s only Gold Cup games at the $1.2 bil­lion AT&T Sta­dium.

In a 2013 semi­fi­nal game there when the Amer­i­cans were on the way to their fifth Gold Cup cham­pi­onship, they beat Hon­duras 3-1. Dono­van scored twice in that game and as­sisted on the other goal. About two months later, Dono­van scored his fi­nal goal in a World Cup qual­i­fier win over Mex­ico.

Within a week af­ter Costa Rica beat the U.S. team 4-0 in World Cup qual­i­fy­ing last Novem­ber, Bruce Arena was re­hired to the po­si­tion he had been fired from a decade ear­lier.

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