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The Younger Yanks Are Coming

ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”

ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”

ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”

ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field.  I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”

Landon Donovan to Make Final Appearance for U.S. MNT on Oct. 10 in East Hartford

CHICAGO (Aug. 26, 2014) – After a 15-year international career in which he became the most accomplished player in team history, U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) will make his final appearance for the United States when the team plays against Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Kickoff at Rentschler Field 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.

“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati). “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”

Donovan announced in August that he would retire from soccer at the end of the Major League Soccer season. He holds several records for the National Team, including most goals (57) and assists (58).

"Playing for the U.S. National Team has been a huge part of my career and I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to play for my country one last time,” said Donovan. “I'm so grateful to all the fans that have supported me and this game will give me the chance to say thank you to all of them. I look forward to a great evening and I'm thankful to U.S. Soccer for making this happen."

Landon Donovan

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 (open Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.]

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.

The four-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year was an inaugural member of the U-17 Residency Program in 1999. He began his Senior Team career on Oct. 25, 2000, against Mexico, scoring in the 2-0 win and setting the tone for a remarkable tenure. In an international career chock full of records and highlights, Donovan added to the most iconic moments in U.S sports history when he scored the game-winner against Algeria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that sent the U.S. into the knockout phase and set off frenzied celebrations across the country.

Donovan's next and final appearance for the U.S. MNT will be the 157th of his illustrious career.

Landon Donovan

Post-Game Quote Sheet: USA vs. Czech Republic – Klinsmann, Altidore, Bedoya, Gyau, Hyndman, Rimando

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
Opening remarks:
“It was a tremendous experience for a young group of players. I think they did very well. They experienced that a game goes 90 minutes or a few minutes more. Overall it looked very good until the last 20 minutes where you could tell their legs were getting heavy. This is just an experience they have to learn to continue to play the same rhythm and flow until the last minute.”

On the manner of the win:
“It was not a simple win. The Czech team had a lot of chances in the last 20 minutes. If one of these chances go in then we can’t complain. For us it was important to see what is coming through in our talent pool. It was wonderful to see we have young players coming through that have come a long way now. Having the opportunity to play a game here in Prague is big. When you have a young player who faces Tomáš Rosický or Petr Cech that’s huge and therefore they’re going away with a lot of good stuff.”

On the performance of the team’s midfield players:
“They did really well. They are technically very gifted, they are one-, two-touch players and they always have eyes for the wingers or the forwards to play balls into their spaces – to find Jozy that was our goal. Still they have to learn and that’s what they’re doing. That’s why we play them in this way to go into those one-vs.-one challenges, to be more aggressive, to learn how to fight those fights in midfield because eventually you will get into those fights. I think that they raised the bar for themselves. Mix and Joe [Corona] you’re wonderful players but you have to go and raise the bar now in terms of aggressiveness. If here and there a foul [because of] going into a challenge being aggressive that’s their learning curve and that’s what they did today they stepped it up.

“Obviously, once they are in possession of the ball they can play. They can keep the ball, they can play it around quickly and they can create things going forward. It’s the same when you see Alfredo Morales and the process he went through the last two years. It’s wonderful to see, he’s breaking through. He’s showing that now in the [German] second division and trying to guide his team up to the first division. There was definitely a huge step for him the last one-and-a-half years.

“Then you give an opportunity for 25 minutes to Emerson Hyndman. He comes in and plays his game, is calm, does a mistake and corrects it right away. This is how we want them to grow in those games. We want them to leave from here with a lot in their back pack, saying, ‘O.K. I learned this, this, and this.’”

On the positives from the team:
“ For 65-70 minutes it went really well. The transition that we talked about with the players to move the whole thing forward, to keep the ball, to play out of the back, to find ways through midfield and not bang long balls to Jozy and hope for the best. No, it’s getting there and it took a huge step with the younger generation of players on the field. They didn’t get nervous. They got high-pressured by the check team, but they moved the ball around and found solutions when it got critical. Here and there, they stepped up the aggressiveness too and won those battles. Those games are huge from a learning curve perspective. So we will remind them all of this when we get together and you will see a lot of these kids again in October.”

On the young generation of players coming through:
“They can only win, they can only gain in these games. I told all of them that whatever mistakes you make, it’s no problem, we’ll fix it. Gyau is coming to the Dortmund second team, the edge of the first team and now wants to break into the first team roster. Jurgen Klopp is looking at him and you can see what Joe has in his pocket; he has speed, he has technique, he has improvising.  He’s taking people on and if he loses the ball, he chases it back. All these things that we want to see, he’s trying to prove them. He was with us two years ago, so I’ve watched him since then and it’s nice to see that coming along.”

On Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando:
“Perfect from a goalkeeper point of view. They kept it clean, they lead the defense, they were loud, they played out of the back, the kept things calm. And when you get more shots on goal, like what happened to Nick, you can shine a bit more. Both go into the future fighting for the number one spot. It’s a bit easier with friendly games. We can rotate them no big deal. Both have a tremendous amount of respect for one another and Tim Howard and whoever comes through the ranks as well. It just nice to have this group even if it’s only four days here in Prague, it’s wonderful chemistry. There’s so much positive energy in these players, as a coach you want them to get the next step and the next step and I think they’re doing pretty well.”

U.S. Men’s National Team forward JOZY ALTIDORE
On the match:
“It was great. We put in a lot of hard work throughout the week. We added a lot of new young faces and at times the soccer was very good. Naturally we tired towards the end and were a bit exposed, but I thought the game went really well and is something to build on.”

On being named captain:
“It’s my second time now receiving this honor and it’s an amazing opportunity. It’s amazing the feeling you get walking out of the tunnel first, everyone behind you, looking to you to be the first one to dictate how we’re going to play. It’s a great feeling and one I take very serious. I’m very proud of that honor and hopefully it won’t be the last time.”

On bringing in the next generation of players:
“Jurgen has always said he’s going to start looking at younger guys. To be honest, I’m really excited for them. There’s some really good players there. They’ve done some really good things this camp. Not all of them got on the field but I think there are really talented young guys, they have great attitudes and they made this game special and will keep improving.”

On Joe Gyau’s performance:
“He’s got speed to burn. It’s something we can use. Hopefully these guys continue to develop. Joe’s a guy who’s been around the program for a while and I was happy to see him get the cap. Also, Emerson was a great, tidy player. There’s a lot of talent there, so it’s all about harnessing that and making sure they keep their head down, keep working hard and keep developing.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder ALEJANDRO BEDOYA
On facing the Czech Republic:
“We know they’re a good team. They’re getting ready to start their Euro qualifiers. We knew it was going to be a battle, but we showed some good stuff, some positive stuff. It was a good mixture of some really young players and a totally new team. It’s a working process but there’s definitely some positives to take out of this game which is what we came here for.”

On the team’s positive play:
“It was good. We had Joe and Julian on the wings as well as Mix coming in and playing. John Brooks in the back… it was a mix of some younger guys who came in and did well. You only learn by experience and that’s what this kind of game gives them.”

On how the goal transpired:
“We talked about being aggressive and high pressing. We came out and did that in the first half. Mix pushed up and the guy lost the ball and Mix just took it away. Of course I’m right there to follow the play, finishing it off and was able to get on the end of the rebound.”

On the team’s offensive style:
“We played a 4-3-3 kind of system and Jurgen gave us freedom to mix it around and move off the ball, not really set positions and three in the middle. Just keep moving and if there’s two guys pressing there’s one staying behind. We have to work on that as well and everything’s a working process. There’s some good interchanges, some movement and the goal came off of us pressing up so definitely some positive things.”

U.S. Men’s National Team forward JOE GYAU
On his first game with the senior Men’s National Team:
“It was a great opportunity to get my first cap, first win. Ninety minutes is a real honor to go the full stretch for my country. It was just a great experience. Coach Klinsmann gave me a lot of freedom today. I think in the first half we played very well, we utilized our variability. In the second half our legs were a little tired, they got a few chances but we were able to hold onto the win.”

What he takes away from the experience:
“I’ve been playing in Europe for a little bit now and the thing you take away from games like these, sometimes you get nervous but you just have to believe in yourself and your abilities, know what you do well and try to bring that into the squad.

“Some games aren’t always going to be pretty. You saw that in the second half. You just got to work hard and work together as a team, but overall I think this is a good starting point for the team with a strong squad coming in.”

On being reunited with some guys he played with previously:
“It was great playing with Mix again, Joe Corona, my ex-teammate Fabian Johnson, Brek – all those guys, I’ve known them for a long time. It was also good to see some new faces in there and we came together pretty well in this game.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder EMERSON HYNDMAN
On getting the opportunity to play his first senior international:
“It’s been an honor to work with people like Jurgen Klinsmann all his staff and people that have played in the World Cup that I was watching on TV and learning under them. To come on tonight and play with them was a proud moment for me. Being so young it’s a privilege being brought into a camp like this. I’ll take experience, I’ll take anything that I’ve ever been tough by Klinsmann, by any of the guys the next time I come.”

On his emotions ahead of subbing into the game:
“The heart beats faster that’s for sure. When the name gets called, it was like, ‘Whoa, it’s actually me.’ It happened real quick. As soon as I got in the game I just forgot about it and tried to play. I just remember Klinsmann saying, ‘You’ll do great, don’t worry. That was pretty much it. It was all positive and I tried to carry that on into the game.”

On the reaction of his friends and family:
“They’re all saying how proud they are or look at my friend playing in his first cap, all this stuff, but it’s unbelievable to see how many people wrote to me and I’d like to thank all them for that.”

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper NICK RIMANDO
On the camp overall:
“Coming into this we wanted to set the tone and make some impressions. We did that with a good team win. All the guys that came in performed well and to pull out a win here in Czech Republic felt great.”

On competition for the No. 1 goalkeeper position:
“There’s a spot open. [Klinsmann] wants to create competition at every position and tonight was an opportunity for both [Brad Guzan and I] to go in and show what we can bring to the team. I think he knows what we’re capable of and for Brad going out tonight and having a great first half then for me to contribute to the team in a win felt good.”

Thoughts on the second half:
“I think being up, away they were going to throw guys forward. At times it felt like they had four, five guys up front and dumping balls. We need to have a little bit more of a mature effort at the end. Keep the ball, possess it and not invite the pressure as much. But, we dealt with it and got the shutout.”

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.

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

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