Ten years to the day after notching his first CONCACAF Gold Cup goal, Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey scored in the competition for the sixth and seventh times on a triumphant night for the U.S. National Team.
In the USA’s tournament opener on Tuesday, Dempsey netted a pair of headers from set pieces as the Americans earned a 2-1 win over Honduras. The veteran striker first scored in the 25th minute, using a quick reaction to finish off the rebound of Jozy Altidore’s shot from inside the box. Dempsey completed his brace and gave the USA a 2-0 lead by heading in Michael Bradley’s free kick in the 64th minute.
Dempsey became the third USMNT player to score in four Gold Cups, helping the Americans earn three points in front of a sellout crowd at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The USA improved to 13-0-0 in Gold Cup openers and 6-0-1 against Honduras in the competition.
Sounders FC captain Brad Evans also contributed to the USA’s victory, coming on as a substitute just before Dempsey’s second goal. Evans played right back and earned his 20th cap.
Panama and Haiti played to a 1-1 draw earlier on Tuesday, meaning the USA is atop Group A after the first slate of matches. The USMNT will face Haiti on Friday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and Panama next Monday at Sporting Park in Kansas City.
Either two or three nations from the group will move on to the knockout stage, as the third-place team from two of the tournament’s three groups will advance.
Meanwhile, Sounders FC midfielder Marco Pappa and his Guatemala teammates are preparing for their first match of the tournament. Guatemala meets Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday at Soldier Field in Chicago.