Clint Dempsey has hit the half-century mark. His penalty conversion against Costa Rica in the Copa America gives him 50 goals with the U.S. senior national team in his career.
More impressive than his goal was the two assists as he led the U.S. to a necessary 4-0 win. The first one was vintage Dempsey: a long, looping run where it seems like he's held onto the ball too long, but eventually makes the perfect pass to Jermaine Jones. Like Bruce Arena once opined, "[Dempsey] tries sh*t."
There was talk of Dempsey being on the way out, but it appears he's temporarily silenced the critics with a big performance. If he can build a fruitful partnership with Bobby Wood, then the U.S.' current qualifying struggles should be easily overcome.
For now, Saturday's match against Paraguay looms large. A win or a tie, and they're onto the knockout rounds. On paper, the U.S. should win with the same lineup, and Dempsey will have to be a key piece.
Dempsey is inching closer to the record for goals scored by a U.S. men's national team player, set by Landon Donovan with 57 goals. If he remains a key part of the squad through the 2018 World Cup in Russia, then he'll most likely break the record.
And remember... don't tread on this: