GREENVILLE, S.C. – Former Furman standout Clint Dempsey came off the bench to assist on Jozy Altidore’s go-ahead goal in the second half before tying Landon Donovan as the United States’ all-time leading scorer with his 57th international goal in the 82nd minute as the U.S. Men’s National Team downed Costa Rica, 2-0, on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, to advance to the 2017 Gold Cup finals.
With the U.S. holding a 1-0 lead in the 82nd minute, Dempsey curled a right-footed free kick around the Costa Rican wall and into the lower right-hand corner to double the lead and match Donovan atop his country’s scoring ledger. The Nacogdoches, Texas, native tallied the record-tying goal in front of his home-state crowd and reached the 57-goal mark in 21 fewer matches than Donovan.
After entering a scoreless match in the 66th minute, Dempsey received a pass in the center of the field, made a tricky turn to lose his defender and played a perfectly weighted pass to set up Altidore’s 72nd-minute goal that gave the Americans a 1-0 lead and marked his 20th career assist. His 82nd-minute free kick put the game away after the U.S. drew a foul outside the right side of the 18-yard box with less than 10 minutes left in regulation.
The United States will face either Mexico or Jamaica in the Gold Cup final on Wednesday, July 26, in Santa Clara, California, at 9 p.m. ET on FS1. Dempsey, who guided the U.S. to Gold Cup wins in 2005 and 2007, will go for his third Gold Cup title.
A veteran of three World Cup finals, Dempsey has netted four goals on the world’s biggest stage and is the only American to score in three FIFA World Cup finals. He will try to help the U.S. qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia later this year when the final round of CONCACAF final round qualifying continues.
Dempsey, a former NSCAA All-American, was originally drafted by the New England Revolution out of Furman in 2004. He established himself as an MLS star before moving to the English Premier League with Fulham FC, where he netted 60 goals in all competitions over six years before making the move to Tottenham and scoring 12 goals during the 2012-13 campaign. Dempsey returned to the United States to join MLS’ Seattle Sounders in 2013 and has scored 41 goals in 88 matches for his latest club.
A three-year starter for the Paladins from 2001-03, Dempsey totaled 17 goals and 19 assists for Furman. He guided Furman to 19 wins and a NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2002.