Dempsey continues strong run of USMNT form in win over Costa Rica

Clint Dempsey

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

As the U.S. Men’s National Team pushed on for an insurance goal against Costa Rica, it was becoming increasingly evident that Clint Dempsey was running out of gas.

It did not matter. Dempsey had already made his mark.

With the U.S. in desperate need of a win against Los Ticos on Friday night to alleviate the mounting pressure that had befallen the Americans, it was Dempsey who once again came through in a big way. The U.S. captain delivered the winner in the 1-0 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., scoring an early first-half goal that set the tone for Jurgen Klinsmann’s men in blizzard-like conditions.

The goal – which came after a Jozy Altidore shot was deflected by Roy Miller into the path of Dempsey in the 16th minute – was not only huge for the Americans’ confidence as they tried to settle into a game that was more snow fight than soccer. But it also gave Dempsey 12 goals all-time in World Cup qualifying, a total that ties him with Landon Donovan.

Making Dempsey’s goal-scoring production – arguably one of the only constants in the Klinsmann era – even more impressive is that he has scored that many in 11 less games than Donovan. Dempsey currently has a dozen qualifying goals in 28 matches while Donovan has the same amount in 37.

Yes, Dempsey has been deployed further up the field in his U.S. career more often than Donovan has in his. But Donovan has represented the Americans for four more years than Dempsey, who is somewhat surprisingly now just seven caps shy of the coveted 100-mark.

Regardless of the comparisons, Dempsey continues to perform and come through in the clutch for the United States. In this cycle alone, Dempsey has scored seven times in qualifying, tying him for fourth-most in CONCACAF and putting him well ahead of the second-leading scorer on the U.S. team (Carlos Bocanegra, Herculez Gomez and Eddie Johnson all have two apiece).

Dempsey has scored against Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda, Guatemala, Honduras and now Costa Rica, and there are no signs of him slowing down. Indeed, he was fatigued on Friday night but that was understandable given that he recently returned from an injury.

Now Dempsey will set his sights on adding to his scoring total on Tuesday night. The U.S. visit Azteca Stadium to take on archrivals Mexico, one of the few CONCACAF teams that Dempsey has yet to find the back of the net against.

You can be assured that El Tri will try to negate Dempsey just as other teams have tried to in the past. But if Dempsey’s recent form for the U.S. is any indication of anything, it’s that he has no problem stepping up to the plate, no matter how big of a challenge he’s up against.

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44 Responses to Dempsey continues strong run of USMNT form in win over Costa Rica

  1. Siberian says:

    Why did you have to go to the Dempsey v Donovan comparison? Yes, they are both attacking mids, but they are two very different players. Donovan is an assist machine anyway. But now that Donovan is nowhere to be found, Dempsey is truly the leader and best player on the team.

    • Riggity says:

      Read what he wrote, he compared them because Dempsey has the same amount of qualifying goals as Donovan which seems extremely logical to me…

  2. ThaDeuce says:

    First!

    What a great game in the snow! Deuce is loose. The captaincy suits him. Lets go get a W in Azteca!

    • ThaDeuce says:

      A great choice by Klinsman, by the way. He controlled the game in the first half, I really like his leadership style. Well played Jurgen.

      By adding Deuce as Captain and forcing him into leadership we retain the natural leaders like Howard and Bradley and then add one beast of a leader that has been kind of dormant until now.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        quit holding me back Ives! The Deuce is Loose! Unleash the moderation!

      • ThaDeuce says:

        the “he” in “he reallly controlled the game was about Deuce by the way. Klinsman made a great choice for captain, Deuce was happy to do work.

  3. eyeyeyww says:

    he will overtake Wynalda’s record by Fall. Better watch out Donovan, Clint may have your record by the time he retires.

  4. barnie says:

    a true professional, hopefully he won’t burnout like landycakes!

  5. MenRook says:

    Don’t know if this topic has been brough up on another thread:

    Costa Rica to protest last night’s match, http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/soccer-dirty-tackle/costa-rica-protest-snowmageddon-loss-us-073705127–sow.html

    Is that before or after their (and our) players surrounded the ref begging him to finish calling the game???

    • Grover says:

      Now that’s funny. I love the sarcastic tone the journalist took in writing it. Right on the dime. When other CONCACAF countries stop doing everything in their power to insure we don’t win at their home games, I will listen. Until then…

    • David M says:

      Of course, we don’t really know that Costa Rica players begged the ref to finish the game, do we? This is what Drake and Twellman kept saying, but how did they know?

      • ld says:

        Twellman and Darke are 2 of the biggest homer announcers i have ever heard call a game, ESPN calls themselves the worldwide leader in sports than trot out a useless amateur like tightshirt to call games..jokes

      • Brian says:

        Agreed. Funny how just because they said in the booth (and how would they know anyway) most people on here also say CR wanted to playvthe game.

        I wanted the three points as much as the next guy but if I’m the officials I call that game in the second half.

    • Killer Instict says:

      How about when the USMNT go to other regions, they refuse to play because it’s too hot/muggy and that our players may get heat exhaustion; or how about they refuse to play in tall grass that passes over their ankles, because they may twist their ankles/ injure themselves or complain that they can’t complete clean passes; or what if, when they went to Jamaica, they would have refused to play in a field that looked like the size of a freaking basketball court; or how about, when the USMNT goes to San Jose (CR), they complain and they refuse to play, because they have to play on that low quality crappy patio rug in Saprissa, they happen to call a turf, that looks like they rolled out of a warehouse they day before; or how about when they go to Mexico, players having to watch over their shoulder that a bottle doesn’t break over their head, when taking a corner kick/ ball throw in; or how about the fact that they get screwed out of calls that should be made or not made, but are disregarded, because those gringos shouldn’t even be here…..my point is that most of these elements can be controlled by FIFA stepping in and becoming more demanding in their requirements in hosting games. Obviously the weather is out our control, I am tired by the lack of sportsmanship and audacity these other regions have when it comes to complaining about home field advantage.

  6. Lorenzo says:

    He did it in less games but he plays different role then Donovan. Donovan has a crap load of assists and played a hand in way more goals. In fact a role in Dempsey goals and, probably helped Donovan’s assist stats to have Dempsey out there with him. Two different players, impossible to put one above the other, but if we can get both of them back on the field and firing on all cylinders, I would love it.

  7. PD says:

    It’s due diligence on their part. I prefer to congratulate the players on the field who lobbied to continue rather than the front office paper pushers who go to work after the fact.

  8. Ramon says:

    I’ve not been the biggest supporter of Klinsman, but this team fought to win a crucial match. I’ve got to give him some credit for a solid lineup considering the # of injuries. The players last night really impressed me because they never gave up and worked extremely hard 4 each other. Hopefully they are too fatigued or caught pneumonia.

    • Grover says:

      All true, but overall it is still painfully obvious that he needs a tactics expert as an assistant. We don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water. Just get him an assistant like he had when he managed Germany.

    • Izz says:

      All true, but overall it is still painfully obvious that he needs a tactics expert as an assistant. We don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water. Just get him an assistant like he had when he managed Germany.

    • Juan says:

      All true, but overall it is still painfully obvious that he needs a tactics expert as an assistant. We don’t have to replace him. Just get him an assistant like he had when he managed Germany.

  9. fischy says:

    If we’re comparing Deuce and LD, you also have to note that Donovan had several PKs in qualifying — not sure exactly how many. Deuce is a pretty deadly finisher. On the other hand, Donovan adds qualities to the attack that are noticeably absent when he is absent. Ideally, we would have both on the pitch (and Altidore) and it would produce magic like the 90th minute against Algeria.

    Here’s hoping….

    • Izz says:

      Agreed.

    • GW says:

      fischy,

      If you think penalties are so easy to take then talk to Jerry Bengston. Or better yet Clint who has a terrible time making them.

      • eyeyeyww says:

        theyre 50/50. theyre not so hard. Only feels difficult when the pressure is on. Much easier to score than say a header or a goal with your left foot

        • GW says:

          50/50?

          If my designated penalty taker was 50/50, that is .500 and I’d replace him.

          And when is the pressure not on? Do you think you could make one for the USMNT if WC qualifying depended on it?

          “Much easier to score than say a header or a goal with your left foot” What if you are Brian McBride? What if you are left footed?

          Why does Clint have such a hard time with them if they are so easy?

          Why has England failed miserably in every penalty shootout in they have ever had to take?

      • David JS says:

        no one said PKs are easy, but they are golden scoring opportunities that a player is given arbitrarily (meaning the PK taker doesn’t have to have had anything to do with winning the PK). So if you’re the designated PK taker, you have a great chance of inflating your goal tally because you’re presented a disproportionately large chunk of the scoring opportunities your team creates. But being a good PK taker is also definitely a skill in and of itself, so I guess everyone will have their own opinion about how to view guys who rack up the goal tallies from the spot.

        • GW says:

          Often the designated penalty taker takes them because people don’t always want to take them even if they are the ones who earned them.

          So often the penalty taker is very skilled at them which means he has earned that opportunity.

          I’ve seen goalies take penalties.

          In penalty shootouts you will often find guys who will beg off.

          And you still haven’t explained to me why Clint is so bad with them.

  10. Spectra says:

    I watched Wreck it Ralph before the game with my kids and now when I see Dempsey I think of the Bad Guy Afirmation

    I’m Bad; and that’s Good
    I will never be Good; and that’s not Bad
    There’s no body I’d rather be than Me.

  11. wilyboy says:

    You mean Roy Miller continues a strong run of form.

    (Guess who the #19 who deflected the game winner was?)

    :)

  12. Those jersey’s are really classy. Also the old school badge is so sexy. My fav US jersey by far. Does anybody know if they will become their regular kits or are they just a one time thing for the USSF anniversary?

    • WG says:

      They’re for the anniversary year. Based on Nike’s and USSF’s past(new uniforms=more money), we’ll be back to something hideous soon enough.

  13. eyeyeyww says:

    Captain Clint.

    I love it

  14. Alexandria says:

    LOL!! at the peeps on here bashing Twellman and Darke and calling them Homers…smh have you ever listened to a national team broadcast in another country and NOT thought the announcers were homers? Thats the freaking pt, you want impartiality when its a league game not when you’re calling the game for your country. We have it so freaking backwards like announcers should be robots but if this was England they’d bash the announcer for not supporting the team.

  15. Patrick says:

    Nt sure the mathnis right on the number of games Dempsey/Donovan has played. 37 is 9 more than 28, not 11

  16. Ken says:

    All he does is score goals. I hear all these complaints from Spurs fans and I laugh. He’s not a striker yet he scores all the time.