Texas native Clint Dempsey came off the bench to spark the United States with a record-tying goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in a semifinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday.
Dempsey entered in the 66th minute and fed Jozy Altidore to make it 1-0 in the 72nd minute then scored on a 20-yard free kick 10 minutes later for his 57th international goal to tie Landon Donovan for the most in U.S. men's history.
The U.S. will vie for its sixth Gold Cup title Wednesday at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., against the winner of Sunday night's match between favored Mexico and Jamaica that will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The Americans' most recent title in the biannual regional championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean was in 2013. They reached the finals for the 10th time in 14 tournaments since its inception in 1991.
Altidore scored his 38th U.S. goal after taking a pass from Dempsey, who had immediately given the Americans a spark when he took the field to thunderous applause.
Dempsey set up Kellyn Acosta for an 18-yard shot that Patrick Pemberton stopped with an acrobatic reach with his left arm in the 70th minute. That was followed a minute later by an outstanding diving save to his left by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard on a shot from Marco Urena.
The U.S. started the transition and Dempsey drew several defenders before laying the ball to Altidore on the left side. Altidore took several dribbles, then shot the ball under the left arm of the charging Pemberton.
With the win, the Americans have gone 8-0-5 under coach Bruce Arena, who replaced Jurgen Klinsmann following a 4-0 loss to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier in November.