New England Soccer Today

Dempsey leads U.S. in 1-0 victory over Honduras

The U.S. Men’s National Team finally got their first win under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Saturday, defeating Honduras 1-0 in a friendly match at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. behind Clint Dempsey’s 23rd career goal.

Dempsey led the U.S. to victory on Saturday. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

“The important thing was that we got three points because this team is hungry for success,” said Klinsmann. “They want to do well and get the results done right.”

Dempsey’s goal came in the 36th minute. The ex-New England Revolution midfielder got on the end of a deflected Brek Shea cross just inside the box and faked a shot with his right foot, before cutting it back to his left and curling a shot just inside the upper corner of the net.

“I didn’t know if it was going to come through but I got a little bit lucky,” said Dempsey. “I tried to take it on my right foot but I saw it was going to get blocked. I pulled it back and tried to place it with my left foot. I couldn’t have hit it any better.”

In a physical match played under heavy rain, the U.S. struggled to maintain possession in the early going and was bailed out by six saves from goalkeeper Tim Howard.

“The conditions weren’t great, but I thought defensively we were pretty good,” said Howard. “They pose some really big problems for us. They’re strong up front and because they have two target players who can hold the ball up they can get a lot of players into the attack.”

The U.S. began to get a bit more control of the match after the 20th minute and a Maurice Edu header off a Steve Cherundolo free kick forced Donis Escobar into a tough save in the 24th minute.

After Dempsey put the home team in the lead, the U.S. had a few opportunities to double their advantage including a couple of open net chances.

In the 53rd minute, Dempsey and Jozy Altidore combined to set up Shea for an open shot, but the 21-year-old couldn’t control the ball on the wet surface with a wide open net in front of him.

Substitute Oguchi Onyewu had an open net to shot at in the 66th minute off the rebound of another Dempsey shot, but the 6-foot-4 center sent his volley high of the goal.

Dempsey thought he had his second goal of the night in the 84th minute with a powerful header off a cross from Jonathan Spector. His goal was ruled off, however, as he was adjudged to have fouled Maynor Figueroa on the play.

“We put pressure on ourselves every game to do well,” said Dempsey. “It’s about us continuing to move forward and put us in a good position to qualify for the next World Cup. We have to figure out what our best 11 is and that’s what these games are for. We’re playing against competition we will see in qualifying. It’s about us winning games and we want to win every one.”

The U.S. returns to action on Tuesday with a match against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

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