Soccer Watch

A kid from Nacogdoches
"A kid from Nacogdoches" (by WikiCommons)

The USA is playing Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup final as we go to press Wednesday evening; up to now, they've gotten there the way U.S. coach Bruce Arena would have wanted. He's used 27 different starters – a mix of guys on the bubble for the World Cup qualifying roster, or maybe for the WC itself next year, along with veterans making a case for their place in the starting 11 – and the team has gotten better each game as the tournament progressed, capped by a convincing 2-0 semifinal win over a very strong Costa Rican team that they'll face again in WCQ in the fall. Texas' Clint Dempsey came off the bench in the 66th minute, set up the first U.S. goal nine minutes later, then sealed the deal with a perfect curving free kick for his 57th career international goal, to tie Landon Donovan for the U.S. record. "To be able to say that I'm tied [for] the most goals in national team history, when I'm a kid from Nacogdoches," he said, "it feels great." ... Jamaica got there with a shock 1-0 upset over Mexico, on an 88th minute stunner that was the first goal El Tri had surrendered in over 450 minutes of play... Next up after this: WCQ Aug. 31.

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