Photos from the USA's 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic in Prague to open the 2018 FIFA World Cup cycle.
U.S. Men’s National Team forward Jozy Altidore has been itching to get back on the field for the past two-and-a-half months.
Altidore, who injured his hamstring in the opener of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is fully recovered heading into Wednesday’s international match against the Czech Republic in Prague.
“It feels great. I’m so excited to be back,” said Altidore, who leads the current USA roster with 71 caps and 23 goals. “I want to get on the field and help the guys put out a positive performance.”
During Tuesday’s press conference, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named Altidore the captain for Wednesday’s game. It represents the second time that Altidore will wear the armband. Altidore’s other international match as team captain was on Oct. 15, 2013, during the USA’s dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Panama to cap off the Hexagonal.
CHICAGO (March 17, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Details for the first meeting between the teams on Czech soil will be announced at a later date.
“While we are focused on preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we must always look ahead and therefore we are thrilled to get this match against the Czech Republic,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Historically, they have a very good team, and they are going to be preparing for a huge challenge against the Netherlands in their opening game of qualifying for the European Championships, so we expect this to be a tough match and another good benchmark for our team.”
The United States will be seeking its first victory against the Czech Republic. The USA is 0-3-0 in the all-time series that began at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Czech Republic collected a 3-0 win in the opening group match. Most recently, the teams met in the Send-Off Series for South Africa as the U.S. fell 4-2 on May 25, 2010, in East Hartford, Conn.
The Czech Republic has reached the World Cup finals on nine occasions, twice advancing to the championship final. Backstopped by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and led by team captain and Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky, the Czech Republic finished in third place in its qualifying group for Brazil behind Italy and Denmark. The Czech Republic been drawn into a challenging Group A in qualifying for the 2016 European Championship and opens the campaign on Sept. 9 at home against the Netherlands.
The MNT will continue its long rivalry against Mexico when the teams square off April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (TICKETS). Kickoff for USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T, is set for 8 p.m. Arizona Time (11 p.m. ET), and will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer.
CHICAGO (Sept. 10, 2014) – Ticket sales have surpassed 20,000 for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s high-profile friendly against Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.
The match will be the final opportunity for fans to see USA forward Landon Donovan in international competition. Among those planning to see Donovan off in style will be more than 3,000 fans from organized supporter groups, led by the American Outlaws. The USA’s all-time scoring leader will retire from soccer at the end of the current Major League Soccer season.
“The game in East Hartford with the farewell to Landon Donovan is very special, so we want to give him the most exciting event possible,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Looking towards the October games against Ecuador and Honduras, we definitely look at the strongest squad possible. It’s exciting for the fans and for us. We look at bringing the players back that won in the Czech Republic, and also to mix them with the players here in MLS.”
Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET only) and at the XL Center ticket office in downtown East Hartford (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.] (TICKETS)
Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
Rentschler Field has previously hosted big-time MNT matches, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group match. In the USA’s initial visit, Brian McBride scored the game-winner in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005, against Trinidad & Tobago in the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the team’s most recent stop, Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won its group on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States holds a 3-1-0 record at the venue.
The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 6-3-2 record this year, and is coming off a 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague.
Immediately following the match in Connecticut, the U.S. Men will travel to South Florida to take on CONCACAF rival Honduras on Oct. 14 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida (TICKETS).
The U.S. Soccer world was thrilled to see Jozy Altidore back on the field for the Men’s National Team after returning from injury, and no one more so than head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The MNT boss felt the on-field presence of the 24-year-old striker during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil would have made a huge difference. Now with a fresh start in the new cycle, Altidore will be given greater responsibility, symbolized when Klinsmann handed him the captain’s armband for the 1-0 win against Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague. According to Klinsmann, with his contributions on and off the field, Altidore looked more than ready to answer that call.