USA routs Cuba in Gold Cup

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Clint Dempsey’s first international hat-trick propelled defending champion United States to a 6-0 victory over Cuba on Saturday to take them into the semi-finals of the Gold Cup tournament.

The 32-year-old former Fulham striker nodded in the opening goal in the fourth minute, tucked in a penalty in the 64th and scored on a sliding right-footed flick in the 78th to seize the scoring lead in the biennial North American championship.

“It feels good. I have gotten them for my club before. Obviously, I’m fortunate. I wouldn’t be able to put the ball in the back of the net without my teammates,” Dempsey said.

“You always want to score as many goals as you can. But the main thing is we won the game.”

By routing their long-time Cold War political rivals before 37,994 fans at the home of the NFL Baltimore Ravens, the Americans advanced to a 1-0 winner over Haiti in a later quarter-final.