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U.S. MNT Earns First Victory Against Czech Republic to Open New World Cup Cycle

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Sept. 3, 2014) – Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya scored a 39th-minute goal, Nick Rimando made four saves in the second half and the U.S. Men’s National Team earned a 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic at Generali Arena. It was the USA’s first victory against the Czech Republic.

The match also represented the first of a new cycle, with the USA’s long-term sights set on the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Bedoya, who played in all four matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, garnered his second goal with the U.S. MNT. Rimando and first-half goalkeeper Brad Guzan shared time in the net, with Guzan earning the 12th victory of his MNT career.

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s young roster earned valuable international experience as three players made their MNT debuts: Joe Gyau with the start and Greg Garza and Emerson Hyndman as second-half subs. Gyau played the full 90 minutes. Julian Green, who scored a goal against Belgium in this year’s World Cup, earned his first U.S. MNT start.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (unassisted), 39th minute: Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Darida lost the ball in the midfield on Peter Cech’s distribution and Mix Diskerud pounced on it to start the U.S. attack. Diskerud worked the ball just inside the box, shot from 17 yards out and Cech made the initial save to his left. The rebound popped out to Bedoya, who slotted it past Czech Republic defender Michal Kadlec into the open net. USA 1, CZE 0 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CZE – Petr Cech, 17th minute: USA forward Joe Gyau, who made his MNT debut Wednesday, created the first legitimate scoring chance for either side by fending off Czech Republic midfielder Petr Jiracek and shooting with his right foot from outside the box. The rolling shot was headed to the right side of the frame, but Cech had no issues crouching over the ball for the game’s first save.

USA – John Brooks, 20th minute: Czech Republic midfielder Vaclav Pilar swung the ball to the left side to teammate Ladislav Krejci. Krejci had open space to cross a dangerous ball back across the edge of the six-yard box. Brooks alertly intercepted with a sliding, left-legged stop as the USA eventually cleared.

USA – Brad Guzan, 26th minute: Vaclav Pilar shot left-footed from about 20 yards out with the intention of finding the right side of the goal, but Guzan dove to his left and secured easily for his only save as he split time in goal with Nick Rimando.

USA – Nick Rimando, 60th minute: Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky’s suave chip over the USA defense landed perfectly to Ladislav Krejci on the left side of the box, and Krejci fired toward the far left post. Rimando reacted quickly with a left-footed save.

USA – Nick Rimando, 65th minute: Shortly after a mad scramble where the ball ricocheted between a pair of USA defenders, the Czech Republic had one more solid crack at the goal as Vladimir Darida fired from close range in the middle of the box. Rimando batted away Darida’s strike at the near right post to maintain the one-goal lead.

USA – Nick Rimando, 85th and 89th minutes: The Czech Republic continued to linger around the net, but Rimando come up big twice more down the stretch. In the 85th minute, Rimando turned away a right-footed shot by Radim Reznik that he played on a short hop. Then in the 89th minute, Rimando adjusted his body to deflect a close-range shot by Daniel Pudil.

Milestone Watch:

  • Brad Guzan earned his 12th victory. He ranks fifth on the USA’s all-time wins list.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT hosts Ecuador at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 10, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, followed by a match against Honduras at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.
Broadcast information: Oct. 10 – ESPN, WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes Radio; Oct. 14 – ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
Tickets: Oct. 10 vs. Ecuador ; Oct. 14 vs. Honduras

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 6-3-2 in 2014.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 1-3-0 all-time against the Czech Republic and former Czechoslovakia.
  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured Brad Guzan in goal and a defensive line of left back Timmy Chandler, right back Fabian Johnson and center backs John Brooks and Michael Orozco.
  • The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya.
  • The front line included Julian Green, Jozy Altidore and Joe Gyau from left to right.
  • To open the second half, Klinsmann brought in Tim Ream for Orozco and goalkeeper Nick Rimando replaced Guzan.
  • In the 63rd minute, Greg Garza made his MNT debut, replacing Chandler. Alfredo Morales earned his second cap and first appearance of 2014 when he entered for Diskerud. Brek Shea made his 27th appearance and second of the year, replacing Corona.
  • In the 67th minute, Emerson Hyndman earned his first cap when he replaced USA goal scorer Bedoya.
  • Altidore wore the captain’s armband. The U.S. MNT is now 2-0-0 in games with Altidore as the captain. His other match with the armband was the USA’s thrilling 3-2 victory against Panama on Oct. 15, 2013, to cap off the Hexagonal.
  • Gyau made his U.S. MNT debut and first start, following in the footsteps of his father Philip who earned six caps with the USA from 1989-91.
  • Green earned his first start and fourth cap.
  • Guzan made his second appearance of the year after splitting time with Tim Howard during a 2-1 victory against Turkey on June 1 in Harrison, New Jersey. Guzan now has 26 caps in his career.
  • Corona and Orozco made their first appearances of 2014. Both players now have 12 international appearances under their belt.
  • Ream earned his eighth cap and made his first appearance since USA’s 1-0 loss to Ecuador on Oct. 11, 2011.
  • The USA’s starting lineup featured eight players who represented the USA at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five players saw time on the pitch during the tournament – Altidore, Bedoya, Brooks, Green and Johnson, who played in all four matches.
  • Johnson earned his 27th cap and his ninth of the year. His nine caps tie for the team lead with Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.
  • The USA is now 33-13-9 all-time under Klinsmann.

-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Czech Republic
Date: Sept. 3, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Generali Arena; Prague, Czech Republic
Kickoff: 2:15 p.m. ET
Attendance: 12,642
Weather: 62 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 0 1
CZE                         0 0 0

USA – Alejandro Bedoya              39th minute

Lineups:
USA: 12-Brad Guzan (22-Nick Rimando, 46); 23-Fabian Johnson, 4-Michael Orozco (5-Tim Ream, 46), 6-John Brooks, 21-Timmy Chandler (3-Greg Garza, 63); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (8-Emerson Hyndman, 67), 15-Joe Corona (13-Brek Shea, 63), 10-Mix Diskerud (2-Alfredo Morales, 63); 7-Joe Gyau, 17-Jozy Altidore (capt.), 16-Julian Green
Substitutions Not Used: 9-Jordan Morris, 14-Rubio Rubin, 18-Bobby Wood
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

CZE: 1-Petr Cech; 2-Pavel Kaderabek (17-Radim Reznik, 46), 5-Vaclav Prochazka, 3-Michal Kadlec, 8-David Limbersky; 22-Vladimir Darida (9-Borek Dockal, 79), 19-Petr Jiracek (13-Lukas Vacha, 46), 10-Tomas Rosicky (capt.); 6-Vaclav Pilar (12-Milan Petrzela, 46), 7-Ladislav Krejci (11-Daniel Pudil, 69), 20-Matej Vydra (14-Daniel Kolár, 46)
Substitutions Not Used: 4-Marek Suchy, 15-Ondrej Mazuch, 16-Tomás Vaclik, 18-Tomas Horava, 21-Josef Sural, 23-David Bicík
Head coach: Pavel Vrba

Stats Summary: USA / CZE
Shots: 7 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 5
Offside: 1 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alfredo Morales (caution)              90th+1 minute

Officials:
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Róbert Kispál (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Fourth Official: Petr Blažej (CZE)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Alejandro Bedoya

  • DateWednesday, September 3, 2014
  • VenuePrague, Czech Republic
  • Kickoff2:15 PM ET
  • Attendance12,642
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Photo Gallery: U.S. MNT Defeats Czech Republic 1-0

Photos from the USA's 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic in Prague to open the 2018 FIFA World Cup cycle.

Fully Recovered Striker Altidore to Captain USA for Second Time

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.

U.S. Men’s National Team to Face Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague

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.

Tim Howard Voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2014) – Goalkeeper Tim Howard has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, with the announcement taking place earlier today live on ESPN’s SportsCenter. This is Howard’s second time winning AOTY, previously earning the honor in 2008.

The three-time FIFA World Cup veteran becomes the fifth player to win Male Athlete of the Year on multiple occasions, joining defender Marcelo Balboa (1992, 1994), goalkeeper Kasey Keller (1997, 1999 and 2005), forward Landon Donovan (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012).

“It’s an honor. I know the winners on the list who have come before me, so it’s special to have my name up there,” Howard said on SportsCenter. “The whole ride with the team for about a month and a half, when we got together for training camp and we flew down to Brazil, we had a really good time and that made 2014 so special to me.”

A new voting process took place this year, with votes collected from Men’s National Team players earned a cap in 2014, Men’s National Team and Youth Men’s National Team coaches, Major League Soccer and North American Soccer League head coaches and select former players, administrators and media members.

Howard received 64 percent of the tabulated votes, followed by Jermaine Jones (19 percent) and Kyle Beckerman (11 percent).

This year, Howard became the USA’s all-time leader in career wins with 55 (breaking Keller’s record of 53) and goalkeeper appearances with 104 (breaking Keller’s record of 102). Howard also had a memorable 2014 FIFA World Cup that included a tournament-record 15 saves during the USA’s 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in the first knockout round on July 1.

The U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year has been awarded since 1984, when midfielder Rick Davis earned the first Athlete of the Year honor.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Soccer unveiled its nominees for 2014 Young Male Athlete of the Year, Young Female Athlete of the Year and Disabled Athlete of the Year. The nominees in each category are:

  • Young Male Athlete of the Year Nominees: Mukwelle Akale, midfielder; Emerson Hyndman, midfielder; Christian Pulisic, midfielder; Haji Wright, forward; DeAndre Yedlin, defender (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Young Female Athlete of the Year Nominees: Morgan Brian, midfielder; Rose Lavelle, midfielder; Samantha Mewis, midfielder; Mallory Pugh, midfielder; Katelyn Rowland, goalkeeper (A Look at the Nominees)
  • Disabled Athlete of the Year Nominees: Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer; Natalie Russo, Power Soccer; Gavin Sibayan, Paralympic Soccer (A Look at the Nominees)

The nominees for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year will be unveiled in the coming days.

Photo Gallery: Tim Howard - U.S. Soccer 2014 Male Athlete of the Year

Photos from Tim Howard's 2014 season with the U.S. Men's National Team. Howard was voted U.S. Soccer's 2014 Male Athlete of the Year, the second time he has earned U.S. Soccer's most prestigious player award in his international career; he also earned the honor in 2008. 

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