Having already clinched its spot in the knockout round, the U.S. Men’s National Team closes out group stage action of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Monday night against Panama.
“We’ve got to keep getting better. There are still things we need to work on,” Dempsey told USsoccer.com. “You want to grow as the tournament goes on. You want to be playing your best games when you get to the knockout round. So it’s good to get out of the group, but we’ve got to continue to improve.”
Dempsey has scored every goal for the USA in this tournament. He now has eight career Gold Cup goals, which is tied for third on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list for the competition. With one more goal, Dempsey would move into a tie for second on the list alongside Eric Wynalda.
According to Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, some key players could be rested on Monday. The Americans have already secured first place in Group A, and this matchup with Panama would be the third game in seven days for regular contributors such as Dempsey and Evans.
“There’s no reason to burn them out,” Klinsmann said of those who have played in both games. “But on the other hand, it’s nice to keep them in their rhythm, especially Clint with scoring goals.
“The approach is picking up more rhythm, getting another three points and finishing off the group with three wins. We take that very seriously. …It’s a nice feeling to know that we’re already first, but it doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. It’s actually the opposite. We need to keep raising the bar.”
Monday’s game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. PT with national television coverage on FOX Sports 1.
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Marco Pappa and the Guatemalan National Team are still alive in Group C thanks to a scoreless draw with Mexico on Sunday. Pappa entered the game after Guatemala went down to 10 men in the second half, and his team was able to hold off Mexico in impressive fashion to earn a point.