United States tops Czech Republic, 1-0, in 1st match since World Cup

(USSF)
(USSF)

Alejandro Bedoya scored late in the first half Wednesday to lead the United States to a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the Americans’ first friendly since the World Cup.

Venue: Generali Arena in Prague.

USA (4-3-3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa); Fabian Johnson (Moenchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Puebla), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt); Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg); Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Julian Green (Bayern Munich).

Subs: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) for Guzan 46th, Tim Ream (Bolton) for Orozco 46th, Greg Garza (Tijuana) for Chandler in 63rd, Brek Shea (Stoke City) for Corona in 63rd, Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt) for Diskerud, Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) for Bedoya in 67th.

Did not play: GK Cody Cropper (Southampton), F Jordan Morris (Stanford University), F Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), F Bobby Wood (1860 Munich).

CZECH REPUBLIC (4-5-1): Cech (Chelsea); Kaberabek (Sparta Prague), Prochazka (Viktoria Pilsen), Kadlec (Fenerbache), Limbersky (Viktoria Pilsen); Darida (Freiburg), Jiracek (Hamburg), Rosicky (Arsenal), Pilar (Viktoria Pilsen), Krejci (Sparta Prague); Vydra (Watford).

Subs: Petrzela (Viktoria Pilsen) for Pilar 46th, Kolar (Viktoria Pilsen) for Vydra 46th, Reznik (Viktoria Pilsen) for Kaderabek in 46th, Vacha (Sparta Prague) for Jiracek in 46th, Pudil (Watford) for Krejci in 68th, Dockal (Sparta Prague) for Darida in 80th.

Next for USA: Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., and Honduras on Oct. 14 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. Both matches fall in a FIFA fixture window, and with an extended period together, Jurgen Klinsmann is expected to recall a mix of players from MLS, Mexico and Europe.

A few notes …

– By definition, friendlies do not mean much. Friendlies less than two months into a new World Cup cycle carry even less importance. From that starting point, however, a young U.S. squad showed well, particularly in the first half, on European grounds. Klinsmann is beginning the process of introducing new players while the Czechs took on a greater urgency with a European Championship qualifier at home next week against the Netherlands.

– Diskerud created the goal opportunity by pressuring Darida into a heavy touch after collecting Cech’s toss. Cech stopped a clear bid in the box by the free-running Diskerud but left the rebound for Bedoya to tuck into the near left corner for his second international goal.

– Gyau, Garza and Hyndman earned their first caps. Gyau (Silver Spring, Md.) became the third generation of his family to play internationally, joining his father Phillip (U.S.) and grandfather Nana (Ghana). His sister Mia, a junior at Bullis School in Potomac, Md., is a U.S. women’s youth international. Gyau was lively and confident in using his breakaway speed on the right flank and displayed good footwork under duress. He was vulnerable, though, on defense.

– In the post-Tim Howard year (or longer), the Americans are in good hands with Guzan and Rimando. The Czechs set the terms at the start of the second half, but Rimando made two quality saves. After a lull, they reapplied the pressure and threatened to find a late equalizer. Rimando turned in another fine stop while being screened and later made a reflex stop.

– U.S. man of the match in first half: Diskerud.

– U.S. man of the match in second half: Rimando.

Video of Bedoya’s goal in 39th minute:

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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