US SoccerUS Soccer

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
  • Weather62 degrees; Partly cloudy
Report
Stories
Videos
Photos

-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

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.

Finding His Form: Johannsson Leads AZ to Europa League; Ready for June MNT Friendlies

Four weeks ago, U.S. Men’s National Team forward Aron Johannsson and his club AZ Alkmaar were seven points out of the third-place position in the Eredivisie. That third-place spot is particularly important because it guarantees the club that holds it a qualifying spot in the Europa League. With that many points to overcome, many of the AZ players were resigned to the fact that if they were going to play Europa League, they’d more than likely have to earn their place during the post-season playoffs.

“When we lost against Feyenoord six games ago we thought we were going to the playoffs,” Johannsson said. “For the rest of the games we were mentally preparing ourselves as if we were going into the playoffs.”

But that was four weeks ago.

On Sunday,  Johannsson scored two goals and added an assist to lead Alkmaar to a 4-1 win over Excelsior. The win landed AZ in third place in Eredivisie, clinching a sport in the Europa League. It was an improbable run highlighted by a hot streak of performances from the MNT forward that began three weeks ago.

Following a 3-1 win against ADO Den Haag, AZ matched up with FC Twente on April 26. Thirty-five minutes into the game, Alkmaar found itself up 2-0 after Johannsson flicked a cross into the back of the net with the outside of his left foot. Johannsson and the team held on for the remaining 65 minutes, and for the first time since February, AZ had won back-to-back games. The positive result berthed a positive thought. If AZ could keep winning, maybe they had a chance.

“We went into the game against NAC Breda realizing third place was possible.” Johannsson said.

The team knew that continuing to win was the only way that possibility could turn into reality, but after 82 minutes AZ trailed 2-1. In the 83rd, Robert Muhren leveled the score line for AZ, but at this stage a tie was not much more valuable than a loss. With two minutes to go, Johannsson kept the Europa League hopes alive, blasting in a stunning long-range goal from 35 yards out.

“I’ve never shot from that far before,” Johannsson said. “We needed to win the game obviously so we could have a chance at third place, and the whole game NAC Breda was defending. They had almost 11 in their own box in the last 30-40 minutes. I didn’t’ get any chances and I barely saw the ball. Finally I got the ball and it was a little bit far away, but I just said ‘screw it’ and decided to shoot on goal. Obviously the result was great.”

With the win AZ moved into a tie with Feyenoord for third with 59 points. Had the season ended that day, Feyenoord would have claimed the automatic Europe League bid based on goal differential. But there was still one game left to play. With Feyenoord holding a huge advantage in the tiebreaker, Johannsson and his teammates knew that they’d need a win in their last game with Excelsior and some luck with the other result.

“After the NAC Breda game, we were thinking the whole week about Excelsior and we knew we had to win to have any chance and hope for good results,” Johannsson said. “It was also tough for us because it was not in our own hands. In a situation like that you can only focus on yourself and get those three points and hope for the best.”

Five minutes into the match with Excelsior, AZ proved they were ready to take care of business. And Johannsson was ready for the spectacular.

“The ball came into the box and bounced high in the air. It was on turf and it was spinning a lot, so I was trying to read where the ball would eventually come down and I made it there before the defender,” Johannsson said.  “The ball was at a perfect height and I just decided to do a bicycle kick. I’m really happy it worked out.”

Johannsson’s goal sent the number of AZ fans that had traveled to Stadion Woudestein into a frenzy and gave his team an early 1-0 lead. It was good thing he heard the roar of the supporters, since he wasn’t quite sure it had gone in.

“I felt it when I hit it and it felt very good,” Johannsson sad. “First I heard everybody celebrating and then I just looked up in the goal and saw the ball, so I didn’t see it in exactly the same time as everybody else. It was amazing. Not only was it a beautiful goal, but we needed to score a goal early in the game to help us build confidence and this was after five minutes. From every perspective it was really nice.”

Bicycle-kick goals are rare, but for Johannsson, this one was not a fluke.

“Two days before the game I was training, we had a striker training at the club, and I was training bicycle kicks. So it was really fortunate the ball came exactly there in this game. We were training and we had the trainer play us the ball and I was kind of taking it off my chest and putting in the air and taking, I think it was five or six bicycle kicks. So it was probably in the back of my head in the game when the ball came in that position.”


Weekend Review: MNT Players Play Big Roles in Club Success

In a weekend where Champions League and Europe League spots awaited clinching, where promotions lay for the taking, and where streaks sought to be continued, there to respond were members of the U.S. Men’s National Team who made an impact with their clubs.

Fabian Johnson and his club Borussia Monchengladbach made history this weekend. Entering just one win away from clinching a group-phase spot in next season’s Champions League, Johnson started and gave ‘Gladbach 78 strong minutes, which helped propel the Foals to capture the needed victory by a 2-0 score line against Werder Bremen. This marks the first time ‘Gladbach has punched a ticket to the Champions League group stage. The Foals have not lost a league match in which Johnson has started since the winter break, going 10-0-2 in that stretch.

Staying in Germany, Alfredo Morales and his squad FC Ingolstadt had an opportunity to secure first place in the 2. Bundesliga and promotion, needing a win against RB Leipzig. Leipzig got on the board early, scoring in the game’s fourth minute. In the 39th Morales came on, and just before the halftime whistle Ingolstadt leveled at 1-1 with a penalty kick. In the 76th minute Morales assisted on the goal that proved to be the game winner. In the end, he helped hoist the 2. Bundesliga silverware that declared Ingolstadt was headed to the top division.

Moving north, Aron Johannsson and his Dutch club AZ Alkmaar entered the weekend tied with Feyenoord for the Eredivisie’s third-place position and the Europa League spot that goes along with it. Johannsson was clearly set on AZ taking that position as he scored a pair of goals, including a full bicycle. Johannsson also added an assist in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-1 win over Excelsior. With Feyenoord losing, AZ are officially in the Europa League for next season.

In MLS, Clint Dempsey continued his point-scoring tear for Seattle Sounders FC. Dempsey again contributed to the Seattle attack, setting up Chad Barrett for what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 2-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In doing so, Dempsey extended his streak of recording at least a point to 10 games, which is the fourth-longest streak of its kind in MLS history and the longest since 1998. Dempsey has at least one point in 18 of Seattle’s last 19 games and is tied for the league-lead in goals (7) and assists (5).

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado and Club America entered the second leg of the Liga MX quarterfinals trailing Pachuca, 3-2. Alvarado came on in the 59th minute of a match packed with excitement and drama that included seven goals, two red cards – both for Club America and the first leaving them a man short after 33 minutes – and last-minute strikes. Ultimately, Club America lost 4-3 at home and 7-5 on aggregate.

Michael Bradley, Chris Wondolowski and Juan Agudelo were a trio of other MNT players that made a mark last weekend, each scoring a goal. Agudelo was a difference maker for the New England Revolution scoring on a diving header to give his team the lead against Toronto FC. Michael Bradley, his MNT teammate, but opponent in this matchup, responded with a game-tying goal for Toronto. Bradley’s was an exhibition of individual dominance. The midfielder dribbled through a host of New England Revolution defenders and finished in the lower left corner of the goal. In San Jose, Chris Wondolowski directed in a header in his team’s 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC. The goal was the 99th of his career, which ranks him ninth overall in MLS history.

×