USMNT advances to Copa America semis after 2-1 win over Ecuador – Sports Out West
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USMNT advances to Copa America semis after 2-1 win over Ecuador

Forward Clint Dempsey notched a goal and an assist to lead the USMNT to a 2-1 victory over Ecuador at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.

With the win, the Americans nailed down a spot in the Copa America semifinals. They will meet the winner of Saturday’s clash between Argentina and Venezuela on Tuesday, June 21, in Houston. 

Dempsey scored the first goal of the match in the 22nd minute. He headed a Jermaine Jones cross into the right corner of the net for his third goal of the competition.

Both teams played a man down in the 52nd minute of play. Jones was issued a straight red for pushing the face of an Ecuadorian player. Antonio Valencia was sent off after receiving his second caution for a kick-out tackle on Alejandro Bedoya near the touchline.

Dempsey played a role in the USMNT’s second goal. He outmaneuvered his mark and sent a ball inside the right post. Gyasi Zardes made sure the ball crossed the goal with a simple flick into the net to double the lead.

Ecuador scored their lone goal nine minutes later on Michael Arroyo’s strike from the top of the box. The South Americans pressured the USA defense for the last 15 minutes of regulation and four minutes of added time, but failed to notch the tying goal.

The U.S. returns to the Copa America semis for the first time since 1995.

Due to suspensions and yellow card accumulations, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will need to reshuffle his lineup after losing the services of Jones, forward Bobby Wood and Bedoya.

Defender DeAndre Yedlin will return after serving a one-game suspension for two yellows in the match against Paraguay.

Below are video highlights from the game:

 

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John Zielonka

John Zielonka has covered the Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Seahawks and University of Washington men's basketball and football. He's written for Yahoo! Sports, 710 ESPN Seattle, Goal.com and is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.
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