[USA-HONDURAS] After going winless and scoring just one goal in its first three games since Coach Jurgen Klinsmann took the helm, the USA beat Honduras, 1-0, on Saturday in a friendly in Florida thanks a goal by veteran attacker Clint Dempsey.
The 28-year-old Dempsey now has 23 goals in 79 games for the USA.
Since Klinsmann took the helm, the USA had tied Mexico (1-1) and lost to Costa Rica (1-0) and Belgium (1-0). Dempsey played only against Belgium.
In the 35th minute against Honduras, Brek Shea sent a low ball from the right flank to Dempsey, who controlled the ball, seemed to set up a shot with his right foot but fooled his marker by pulling the ball back to his left foot and unleashed a shot from 16 yards high into the left corner of the goal.
Dempsey hit the net again with a header in the 85th minute but was ruled offside.
“It’s always important to win games because winning games builds confidence,” said Klinsmann. “Especially when we are in a transition like we are in right now. Trying to build something that suits the team and hopefully suits the people, too. It will take time, and you always have some setbacks, but obviously wins help you there.
“I think we should have won a bit higher, 2-0, 3-0 -- the second goal by Clint Dempsey was a clear goal. Now we’ve had a couple of games with a goal disallowed which were clear goals. But it certainly feels better when you win the game anyway.”
In the loss at Belgium, Maurice Edu had scored a goal that would have been the equalizer but was waved off by the linesman’s flag although replays showed Edu was onside.
“I was happy with what I saw,” Klinsmann said. “It took us a while to get in the game, because we were a bit too static, and they came out sharp and pushed us a little bit back.
“But after 20, 25 minutes we took over. We created chances and had a higher rhythm in the game. It was really just a question of time until we scored that goal. And then we had enough chances to double or triple it.”