Dempsey ties record as U.S. secures Gold Cup final
Clint Dempsey fed Jozy Altidore for the goahead goal, then scored on a free kick to match Landon Donovan’s American record with his 57th international goal and lead the United States over Costa Rica 2-0 Saturday night and into Wednesday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup championship game.
Playing in his home state of Texas, the 34-year-old Dempsey entered in the 66th minute and made a perfectly timed through pass six minutes later that allowed Altidore to break in alone and beat Patrick Pemberton with a left-footed shot from 10 yards.
Dempsey doubled the lead in the 82nd minute with a 27-yard shot that went around a four-man defensive wall and got past Pemberton on two bounces.
“I saw the keeper cheating a little bit, and it went in,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey has 136 international appearances, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Donovan (157) among American players. The assist was his 20th for the national team.
“Coming back from two heart procedures, being able to still play at this level,” Dempsey said in his Texas twang, “living a dream. So I’m happy.”
Trying for their sixth Gold Cup title and first since 2013, the Americans play Mexico or Jamaica in the final at Santa Clara, California.
The U.S. improved to 8-0-5 since Bruce Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November and returned for a second stint as national team coach.
Arena can become the first coach to win three Gold Cup titles following championships in 2002 and 2005.