Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey scored a historic goal and added a late assist for the U.S. national team on Tuesday night in a cathartic 4-0 win over Guatemala in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Dempsey cleaned up a loose ball in the penalty box in the 12th minute, emphatically pounding home a right-footed shot for his 14th career goal in World Cup qualifying matches, passing Landon Donovan for first place all-time in USMNT history.
Dempsey now has 49 career goals with the USMNT, inching closer to Donovan’s all-time record of 57 across all competitions.
Dempsey’s goal came after center back Geoff Cameron drifted a ball over the top to winger Gyasi Zardes, who collided with a pair of Guatemala defenders in the box. The ball dropped to a wide-open Dempsey, who made no mistake with the shot, igniting a USMNT offense that languished in a 2-0 loss in Guatemala City last week and left the team in a perilous position if they were to lose on Tuesday night.
Instead, the win puts the USMNT back on firm footing to reach the CONCACAF Hexagonal round with two games remaining against Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Cameron thumped home a wide-open header off a Michael Bradley free kick in the 35th minute and Graham Zusi cleaned up another loose ball inside the Guatemala box in the 46th minute for the USMNT, who improved to 27-0-2 in their last 29 World Cup qualifiers at home.
Dempsey picked up an assist on the USMNT's final goal of the night in the 89th minute, setting up second-half sub Jozy Altidore for an easy finish.
Dempsey logged all 90 minutes and is expected to return to Seattle on Wednesday. He’ll likely train with the Sounders on Thursday and should be available to play when the Sounders return to action at home against the Montreal Impact on Saturday (7 p.m. PT; Q13 FOX/Univision Seattle/ROOT Sports (outside Seattle)/KIRO 97.3 FM/El Rey 1360 AM).
Former Sounder and current Sunderland defender DeAndre Yedlin started and logged 90 minutes for the USMNT, and former Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa came off the bench for the final 45 minutes for Guatemala.
Trinidad & Tobago 6, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 0
Sounders defender Joevin Jones scored his second goal in as many games as T&T rolled to the World Cup qualifying win over the Vincy Heat. Jones scored in the 50th minute for T&T, and Sounders forward Oalex Anderson logged 90 minutes in the loss, hitting the post with a shot in the 73rd minute.
Jones left the game in the 83rd minute with an apparent injury, but no further details about the extent of the injury were available on Tuesday night.
S2 forward Myron Samuel also started for the Vincy Heat and logged 73 minutes in the loss.