Dempsey at home and one goal from record
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.