The U.S. men's national team put together its best performance at the Gold Cup on Saturday, beating Costa Rica 2-0 in the semifinal. Here are the takeaways from the match:

Dempsey superb

Clint Dempsey was the definition of a super sub and couldn't have been better. A goal (to match Landon Donovan's record at 57) and an assist in little time, could this be his role moving forward? At 34 years old, he may not have the legs anymore to play a full 90 minutes, but he sure can give a great half and still be the most important guy on the roster. He's confident, happy to be back from injury and taking every opportunity. 

Howard saving this team's poor defense

The United States' defense has been poor and sloppy in this competition, and time and time again Tim Howard has had to save this team. He did it again twice in this one, including early on when Omar Gonzalez was caught sleeping at the back.

Howard may be 38 years old, but he is still the man for the U.S. in goal and you can expect him to be next summer at the World Cup, assuming the U.S. makes it. 

Don't expect lots of changes

Bruce Arena has changed his lineup more than Neymar changes his hairstyle, but don't expect so many changes in the final. After making 11 for the quarterfinal against El Salvador, he made five more for the semifinal showdown. But with the final coming on Wednesday and a bunch of momentum for the first time all cup, Arena would be wise to stick with most of the guys that started this one. The most interesting part will be if he starts Dempsey or keeps him on the bench for that second-half boost. 

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