Dempsey has been responsible for over 50 percent of the U.S. scoring during Klinsmann's tenure but saw some diversity as Altidore and Evans delivered in key moments.KINGSTON, Jamaica -- For the first time in quite some time, the United States secured a victory without the heroics of its captain Clint Dempsey. That's not necessarily a bad development for Jurgen Klinsmann and his team.
Since Klinsmann's arrival in the summer of 2011 and prior to Friday's Jamaica match, Dempsey had scored 13 of the USA's 25 goals in 28 games according to ESPN. No other player had scored more than three goals in those two years. Furthermore, when Dempsey scores the team has a higher winning percentage than when he doesn't.
The Stars and Stripes might leaned too heavily on the Texan to find wins.
On Friday night, the United States showed that it has other weapons in its arsenal, a development that pleased its team captain.
"It's important to have a number of different weapons and different ways to score goals," Dempsey said.
Jozy Altidore's confidence appears to be growing after breaking his two-year U.S. goalless spell on Sunday. He put the USA ahead of Jamaica in the 30th minute. Though fatigue from the humid conditions at Jamaica's national stadium wore on Altidore as he slowed down in the game's final 20 minutes, he continued to build on the high work rate that he showed against Germany, chasing after balls and trying to win headers. If the AZ star can keep up with his recent form, it's safe to assume that there will be more scoring chances for both Altidore and Dempsey.
Then there were the late heroics from Brad Evans, who admitted that he wasn't aware that he had scored in stoppage team thanks to Jamaica's field not having a scoreboard. Evans won't be expected to continue scoring but his game-winner showed that, given the opportunity, the United States can find ways to win without Dempsey having to bail the team out.
Graham Zusi's emergence over the past few games has had a big part of it. Zusi had an assist against Jamaica and his development as the USA's starter at right midfield has paid off as the team's ball movement has improved. Dempsey pointed to Zusi's first assist to Altidore as sign of the USA's new found strength in width.
"We were able to utilize width by Graham being able to beat his men and Jozy being able to score off it," Dempsey said.
Dempsey admits that he was disappointed that the U.S. national team couldn't find a way to hold on to it's slight one-goal lead against Jamaica but pointed to Evan's late goal as a sign of the team's determination.
"It's great. The more people scoring goals, the better. The most important thing is putting ourselves in the best position to qualify," he said. "We showed a lot of character with the winning goal."
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