After silencing critics to advance to the Copa America Centenario semi-finals, star forward Clint Dempsey said the United States have set their sights on winning the tournament on home soil.
Dempsey scored his 52nd international goal as USA overcame Ecuador 2-1 in Thursday’s quarter-final in Seattle, as both teams ended the match with 10 men following red cards to Jermaine Jones and Antonio Valencia.
Host nation USA were not given much of a chance after going down 2-0 to Colombia in the tournament opener but Jurgen Klinsmann’s men have won three matches in succession as a potential semi-final showdown with last year’s runners-up Argentina looms.
“We’re going to give it everything we can,” he said afterwards. “We’re trying to get to the final. We’re going to try to win it.
“You don’t get a lot of opportunities in a major competition to go all the way. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
It was a happy homecoming for Dempsey – USA’s second all-time leading scorer – at CenturyLink Field.
The 33-year-old Seattle Sounders veteran opened the scoring in the 22nd minute – his third goal of the campaign – and Gyasi Zardes doubled the lead past the hour-mark after Jones and Valencia saw red in chaotic scenes seven minutes into the second half.
“It’s always great to do it when you’re at home,” Dempsey said. “It’s always great to do it for the States. It’s what you dream about as a kid. So I’m blessed.
“Hopefully we can keep going. We’re still alive in this tournament. And we’re in the semi-finals of a major competition. So we’re happy.”
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