NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – The only thing sweeter than a win for the U-S Men's Soccer team is an East Texan making the winning goal.
Soccer fans jammed Reliant Stadium in Houston Wednesday night hoping to witness some history making moments. Fans from East Texas who went to the match were also hoping to witness some fierce play from beloved Nacogdoches native Clint Dempsey. Neither were disappointed.
Local rags to riches player Clint Dempsey made the winning shot in Gold Cup play against Panama and the fans went wild.
Greg Scott of Nacogdoches and his daughter traveled the two and a half hours to Houston's Reliant Stadium to witness history in the making.
"Well, it's a passion now at my age I still play, referee, my kids referee and play as well," said Scott.
Dempsey, known for his toughness, once having played two games with a broken jaw in 2004, was fierceless Wednesday night, connecting on a cross field assist from Landon Donovan for the goal.
"Ah, that was an exciting game. It was a close game all the way until the score obviously but you could see it develop when Donovan broke free and he had so many options and set it right across the goal," said Scott.
Dempsey was born in Nacogdoches and for much of his childhood his family lived in a mobile home park where he and his siblings grew up playing soccer with the local children or anyone he could find.
"Since he was the one to score last night it was interesting that he made sure everybody knew it was Donovan who assisted the goal and he's such a creative player and fun to watch that's mainly one of the reasons we went down to watch the game," said Scott.
His tenacity is paying off. The East Texas child wonder will lead the American team against Mexico for the Gold Cup title on Saturday.
The U.S. men's soccer team downed Panama 1-nothing. The Americans will play in the biennial tournament's championship game for the fourth straight time after avenging a 2-1 loss to Panama on June 11.