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Bedoya’s goal, Rimando’s saves lead USMNT past Czech Republic

Alejandro Bedoya

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Featuring an inexperienced and young side, the U.S. Men’s National Team achieved something on Wednesday evening that they’ve seldom done before.

Alejandro Bedoya’s first-half goal proved to be the difference as the USMNT defeated the Czech Republic, 1-0, at the Generali Arena. The U.S. team’s first match since being eliminated in the World Cup Round of 16 also the USMNT’s first victory against the Czech Republic after two previous losses.

Nick Rimando stepped in for Brad Guzan at halftime and helped Bedoya’s goal stand up by making a flurry of key saves to keep the Czechs off the board.

Three players made their national team debuts on Wednesday. Joe Gyau started and impressed on the right wing, while substitutes Greg Garza and Emerson Hyndman also made their debuts.

With Tim Howard taking a 12-month break from the USMNT, Jozy Altidore was handed the armband, but found life difficult in the match, playing alongside World Cup teammate Julian Green on the left and the debutant Gyau on the right.

Gyau was one of the brighter players on the park in the first half, though his service forward didn’t always reach the target. The U.S. struggled for the most part with their midfield trio of Mix Diskerud, Bedoya, and Joe Corona connecting with the forwards, often times needing to use the speed of the full backs on the wings to connect the attack.

A Green turnover off a corner kick in the 34th minute allowed the Czech Republic to rush forward on a three-on-two counter attack, with Tomas Rosicky leading the break. Rosicky took on Diskerud and crossed to the far post, beating U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the process, but Vladimir Darida couldn’t direct his sliding shot on target.

The USMNT found their breakthrough in the 39th minute off an error from the Czech Republic. Goalkeeper Petr Cech’s pass out to Darida took an awkward bounce on the field and Darida couldn’t control it. Diskerud stepped forward to take the ball away and race towards goal, firing a low strike towards Cech.

The Chelsea goalkeeper parried the shot to his right, but Bedoya, following up on the play, was first to the ball to power it home and give the U.S. the lead.

The hosts made three changes to the USMNT’s two changes at halftime, and throughout the second half began to impose themselves more on the game.

Rimando came on for Guzan at halftime and had a busy half, making four saves as well as patrolling his area for crosses from the wings.

In the 61st minute, Gyau found himself out of position on the left side of the box, leaving¬† Ladislav Krejci alone on goal. Krejci fired a close-range effort but Rimando produced a great kick-save to keep the Czech’s off the scoreboard.

Aside from Tim Ream’s entrance at halftime, a five-minute span beginning in the 62nd minute saw USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann use the rest of his four remaining substitutes. Klinsmann handed debuts to left back Greg Garza and 18-year-old midfielder Emerson Hyndman, while also giving cameos to Brek Shea and Alfredo Morales.

The U.S. conceded the possession battle in the final 20 minutes, as the Czech Republic ramped up the pressure to find an equalizer. Rimando was up to the task however, bailing out his defense on a number of occasions, including two big saves in the final four minutes of the match.


  1. Fine first half. No complaints about that. Composure on the ball and decent possession even if we didn’t create many chances. Neither did they.

    Brooks looked good in the back – looking forward to having him around for the next decade. Chandler and Johnson kept things under control and were reasonably dangerous going forward. Midfield was solid, if unspectacular.

    Second half, very different, but who cares. Sub out our entire central midfield and most of our defense to give the newbies some experience. Fine, and they kept the lead. Will take it without complaints.

  2. For those consistently complaining about Jozy, I can kind of understand your points, but my one question is, who should Klinsmann start ahead of him in that position? This includes players in Europe and MLS. This is not a confrontational question, this is simply a call for opinion, rather than just saying, ‘Sit Jozy.’

    Boyd and Johannsson are hurt, and neither have proven themselves on the international level (and both are currently hurt). Eddie Johnson is a headcase, but he has scored for the U.S. Dempsey can score at will, but that is not his best position and he may fade in the near future. Zardes is on fire, but has never played an international match. Any other names are too young are too unproven. I am a Jozy supporter, but I am not sure that if JK even wants to go in a different direction at that spot, he can right now.

    • Johannson is better then Boyd was battling injury problems during the world cup. Like jozy’s situation with sunderland its hard to get into a rhythm if you’re not starting and I really do belive if Johannson can get some consecutive starts under his belt that he can establish himself as a fixture in the first eleven.

    • Completely agree with you. Either due to injury, inexperience, or limited future use the US does not have many options other than Jozy at striker right now…
      Injured: Johannsson, Boyd
      Being phased out: Dempsey, Wondo, EJ, Gordon
      Inexperienced: Green, Gyau, Wood, Zardes, Bruin, Rubin, Morris, Wooten,
      Forgotten Ones: Bunbury, Sapong, Magee,
      Without a Club: Agudelo
      Not Declared/available (Yet): Nagbe, Dwire, Parker

    • Well, Guzan was the presumptive #1 and then had distribution issues and got outplayed last night. A little competition doesn’t hurt particularly when someone plays bad.

      That we haven’t identified many striker options other than him doesn’t mean he’s immune from criticism. It means there is not much we can do about it, unless we scout some new ideas.

    • Benjamin C. – While I’m certainly not a Jozy supporter, I nonetheless agree with your point. While I’m frustrated that he’s the best we have, he IS the best we have right now, so he remains our top option unless/until someone emerges to unseat him.

      I think even the Jozy fans are hopeful that one or more of the young strikers emerge to play at a level above his, but the current calls to bench him or get rid of him are off-base.

      To my mind, one of the most difficult things in evaluating young players making their first, or among their first, appearance is if they do so with a team full of similarly inexperienced players. The ideal is to test out a few at a time playing alongside a core of regulars to get a true picture, though that may not often be feasible.

  3. Someone please explain to me why the Brek Shea Showcases continue. He is clearly not good enough at this level…or at the BPL level…or at the Championship level. Honestly, who would want to take a chance on him after this performance tonight?

    • i agree with most of your comment, but shea was definitely good enough at the championship level. his loan certainly wasn’t canceled for performance reasons.

    • At least some of the concept may have been to get Shea minutes to keep him relevant. He didn’t start but I think the callins are based on potential and seeing if it can be accessed or if he’s a bust. The latter is a fair agument but JK is clearly giving him more time to play out.

  4. With a Euro qualifier against Holland coming up next week, the Czechs would be expected to field their “A” team. Was that the case? If so, does that make this result a tiny bit more impressive?

    • Going into Prague and winning, and playing quite well for stretches of the match, against a team gearing up for Euro qualifying with none of the MLS guys and several others out injured that would be in the squad has to be a positive step forward. Great experience for all of these young guys, which was part of the point.

  5. This was the first game in some time that we seemed to be physically overpowering our competition.
    Mix looks like he’s been hitting the weight room too which is really good for him.

  6. Need to see more of Hyndman. Great composure. Saw a bit of a recent Fullham game and he showed he belonged. Not calling him a revelation yet but he sure seems set on the right course.

  7. This games was so so to me, Mix and Gyau impressed a lot, The long flight probably got to Garza, Orozco and Corona but the were also ok. Shea is just the best player on the field at losing the ball, I’m actually impressed with how he loses it when it looks like theres no way he could lose the ball. Consistent games will help Green alot and then there is Jozy. This guy just isn’t as good as we thought I think the English league exposed him. There is just no excuse for him anymore.

    • wow. Jozy scores a brace against Nigeria befire the world cup, gets hurt, then fails to score in the very next game (which the us wins) and he’s suddenly “not as good as we thought”??? Get a grip…

      • the guy had a solid game. like with many others, his first half was strong and the second half fell off. my biggest problem was that he took 0 shots. even if his hold up play and passing were good, he has to find way to take shots.

      • Jozy is a striker. How many times has he scored in the last 12 months ? The answer is 5!!!!!! 5 goals in all competition in 12 months for a striker? Thats fu√áking horribly

      • and yet, when he went down in Brazil, it put the brakes on the team. we could discuss the options behind him that were brought and unable to compensate for his loss, or the decision to continue to play with a lone striker after he went down even though we had no on to truly fill that role on he roster, but it still remains that when he went down the team was weakened plenty

        he needs service, old discussion here

      • Nate, so he scored a brace in one game. we got it thanks for the update.

        The thing is the guy just never looks threatening, he cant do anything to create his own chances He has a great shot, and one every 4 games or so he takes a shot. He scored one Goal last year for Sunderland, and has become a cult hero for not scoring there. The strongest part of his game is being big, I just hope we have somebody at striker who actually creates chances and pits shots on goal regularly before 2018. Tired of waiting for Jozy to Blossom give me Zardes instead!

  8. Mix is really starting to look like a grown-up out there. Shea has just one setting, and when his speed doesn’t carry him past his defender into open space he seems a bit lost. Great to see Ream put in a good shift. A bit sloppy in the second half for my taste, but overall a good run-out for a whole bunch of young players.

      • True, I just don’t think bradley or jones are guys you take off. Maybe mix could have played underneath a striker late when we were down.

      • Because Bradley had such a stellar World Cup? Clearly he wasn’t at his best. Mix might have been a useful replacement, if not simply to rest someone in Group stage. And he could have provided a spark vs. Belgium where 1 goal in regulation would have sent us through to the quarterfinals.

      • The answer is obvious, JK gets locked into certain players and it takes dynamite to get him to make a change. Bradley did not play well in the WC but it didnt matter. He kept starting. His MLS play is sub par too. Wanna bet he starts friendlies here? Same thing with Altadore. Contributes nothing but hold up… so today hes captain and plays 90

      • It’s called making a player grow and be hungry for the future. He did the same thing with Chandler. How much harder you think that will make them work for the next World Cup?

        Bradley did not have a great World Cup, but I don’t think you could have pulled him and been successful. Mix has improved since the World Cup, so hopefully he pushes hard to be the starter for the next cycle.

      • Opinion obviously. But there wouldn’t be toooo much controversy in saying jones and bradley were our two best choices to play ahead of beckerman in a central three.

      • Because JK deployed a defensive mid strategy and Mixx is not a DM. Not because there were better attackers, but because we weren’t using many and Bradley got the nod.

        In theory he could have been used for Bradley but that would have been a dramatic change in a World Cup.

    • 1) Better players ahead of him.
      2) Game situations dictated other subs.
      3) Only 3 subs allowed per game

      Take you pick or picks. Not everyone in the 23 gets to play.

  9. I hate that in these friendlies we do not see more forward options. We brought them but did not play them. It starts to feel like JK uses this time to give altidore more minutes on the field in hoping that it changes his luck with his club situation.

    • This was Rubin & Morris first exposure to the Sr. National Team…and Wood’s 2nd. It’s Rubin’s first season as a Pro…and Morris is still in College. Our more accomplished striker options with European Clubs (Boyd & Johannsson) are still recovering from Injuries, and Agudelo still hasn’t found a club team yet. Meanwhile Green & Gyau…both young forward/wing options…got significant minutes for the 1st time with the USMNT.

      If in the next 6-8 months Jozy still hasn’t shaken the rust off, and all the above are getting minutes with their club sides…Then you can B!tch about Lazy Jozy and JK not giving chances to others. Until then don’t expect to see much in the way of a change at striker unless you want to see more of the Wondo, Gordon, EJ, types….

      Besides when the camp switches towards the MLS/MFL player pool….you’ll see all kinds of new and inexperienced strikers (Bruin, Bunbury, Sapong, Zardes, etc…).

  10. Good not great showing from our boys. Some thoughts:

    -Joe G was impressive and I would like to see more of him
    -Joe C was non existent, seemed to get lost in the middle of the park.
    -Jozy worked hard but really didn’t do much, inconsistent at times. Service wasn’t there (which seems synonymous with Jozy). Could it be he doesn’t do a great job of making himself available and getting into open im not sure.
    -Fab J, is class, and our most consistent player
    -Shea still has no clue
    -J Green showed some signs but disappeared for much of the game, got moved centrally in the second half and was a total non factor. Did some nice ball winning in first half

    • I’ve long stuck up or Jozy and given him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s games like this that I start to question him as our sure-fire option going forward. We always say that he doesn’t get enough service, but he does nothing to warrant good service. Too often, he is just standing back waiting to “hold the ball up.” I don’t mind that with the ball deep in our own end, but Jozy needs to look to make his own runs to stretch the defense. This was a prime opportunity to be a focal point and I think he failed. He can post guys up, but he lacks that tenacity to get to the dirty areas of the pitch. On a couple of crosses, one from Timmy and the other from Gyau that I remember, Jozy was hanging around the penalty spot. I’d like to see a big body like his getting to the near post to challenge the goalie. I still like some things about his game, but it’s obvious to see his limitations at the moment.

      • I am so tired of waiting for Jozy to actually DO SOMTHING. I guess that he will do nothing for another 5 games or so and then score a brace in a friendly vs Trinidad & Tobago to cement his starting spot until 2026. Jozy is just way too lifeless and inconsistent to be our #1 striker he never looks dangerous at all. I thought Gyau looked very promising its nice to have some speed on the field and to see someone who will take on defenders he and Green can actually threaten defenses unlike Jozy.

  11. very happy with Gyau performance in the first half along with Mix. they were very good. despite JK’s praise, i thought Corona had a so-so game. Bedoya was solid and looked pretty good in CM, which makes sense given that is a more natural position for him. Green also looked good in the first half but just had too many giveaways on the night. that’ll get cleaned up at HSV, hopefully.

    Johnson was a beast all night, per usual, and Chandler looked fantastic at LB. for our CBs, Orozco was very solid but it was Brooks who stood out. great game from him.

    in the second half, i thought Gyau and Green dropped off which was disappointing to see. for the subs, we’ll start with Rimando. dude is a beast. great play from him. Tim Ream had a solid enough performance, but nothing that made him stand out from Orozco.

    Garza looked like he was playing in his first cap but certainly wasn’t that bad. need to see more of him but Chandler had a much bigger impact. for the CMs, Morales and EH did their thing. thought EH looked good other than his one poor turnover. looking forward to seeing how he develops.

    then there was Shea. yikes. he pretty much gave the ball away with every possession he got. that was very disappointing to see. you could see what he was trying to do, and it was smart play, but he could not execute. he has to find a loan because his form is not up to par.

    overall, i was happy though. young, inexperienced team going up against an experience Czech team at home. hard to focus on the negatives given the circumstances.

    • One of the best games ive seen from Mix. Also thought Gyau looked really comfortable on the ball especially in the first half. And of course Rimando was being Rimando. Overall satisfied with the game and the players

    • +1 Very happy to see Mix eating his feedback with some urgency and decisiveness. Looked like he wanted prove a point and was not waiting for the right chance to fall his way.

      Morales was an encouraging spot for me… he needs to do something about that bootleg Marek Hamsik hairstyle, but we can focus on that once we learn more about Brek Shea’s new habit of cutting his hair with his cleats. Does anybody keep an eye on him out there?

      • agreed, and it’s this type of performance which makes me wish he would get out of Norway. he’s going to plateau there.

        yeah, idk what was going on with that haircut. my one problem with him today was he was a bit too reckless with some of his challenges and he’s got to stop talking back to the ref. that’s why he got a yellow. he’s too young to be going off on the ref like that. even if it is a bad call.

    • Shea is a horrible crosser. Maybe that is why he selfishly holds onto the ball TOO LONG and constantly loses it rather than pass to open teammates. Green had some turnovers that were the mark of inexperience, but what is Shea’s excuse. He’s five years older and has played way more professional matches and MNT matches than Green and he is still making the same stupid mistakes.

      I’m not sold on Green but that is more because of his inexperience. At this point I think he’s played more time w/ the MNT (about a me plus a half) than he has with Bayern. Hopefully he gets his chance with Hamburg SV on loan.

      I was really impressed with Gyau in the FIRST half. He has some nice skills, tightroping the sideline and generally causing havoc for the left back of the Czechs (I think he was subbed out at the half because of an injury which might have explained the drop in play). In the second half, he turned the ball over and lost his marker a couple of times although he recovered enough so that he forced the bad angle shot that Rimando saved with his foot. I really want to see more of him. He could be like Charlie Davies but w/ better foot skills.

      Not impressed with either Ream or Garza or Morales tonight. Need to see them more. Ream has the tools to be a mainstay but he needs to improve his performance. I’ve watched all three Fulham matches on BeIN and he didn’t play as well yesterday. Of course he is still incredibly young.

      I thought Brooks was excellent in the first half. If we can see that player develop, he will be a beast. I liked when got forward and took the shot although it was nowhere near target.

      • Super NES, agree about Shea. i’m not sure if he is just really rusty or what but he didn’t look good. dude has to get a loan, anywhere, to get some time.

        yeah, as i said as well, Gyau impressed me in the first half but dropped off in the second. probably something to do with moving to a 4-5-1 from a 4-3-3 which gave him a lot more defensive responsibilities. good news is that he mentioned in an interview a few weeks ago that he wants to work on that part of his game. so at least he recognizes it.

        when you say not impressed, you just mean nothing stood out, right? because none of them really did anything bad. they each had nervy moments but did decent. my problem with Morales was he was running his mouth at the ref. too young to be doing that, no matter if the call is soft. earned him a yellow because of it.

    • haven’t read all the comments yet, but i seem to be in the minority that wasn’t that impressed with gyau.

      i love his speed and ambition, but his touch wasn’t very good, he misplaced simple passes, and he was weak when tracking back. in short–he looked like a kid out there; so i’m excited to see where he’ll be in a couple years, but i wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for him.

      but like i said–seems i’m in the minority.

      • I’m with you on Gyau. As exciting as it was to see a player willing to run at defenders, he was very poor at defending his flank. At this level you can’t have a defensive liability at that position. But that can be taught and he is very young still. So I do think his future is bright. Our starting center midfielders surprised me by how well they played, especially Mix and Bedoya. We got overrun after making all the subs, but still an impressive result.

      • My response would be that with wing players you are sometimes looking for qualities and virtuosity for development, and not just a solid workmanlike effort. When Gatt was healthy, it was like, wow, this guy can run. Unusual skill or crossing is just as useful. So if Green or Gyau get a little sloppy but scare the heck out of people, that is arguably preferable to someone being a solid cog but not able to create chances.

        Also, you can sand down the rough edges on a quality player but you can’t make a mediocrity that much better.

      • agreed.

        and the gatt comparison is apt; that’s what gyau’s appearance reminded me of: exciting potential, but some big gaps (for now!) in his play.

      • i think it’s pretty 50/50 on Gyau. i know a few guys, like Doyle and Carlisle, didn’t think he was all that good. Doyle harped on him for hardly completing any attacking, forward moving passes. which is fair enough. Carlisle just straight up didn’t like him, which was overly harsh.

        with a day to digest, i still think Gyau did fantastic in the first half. yes, he didn’t really get the ball forward but he, himself, was always about as far forward as you could get. his cross to Jozy was fantastic, probably the only good US cross of the night. if the Czech defender doesn’t get a touch on it, Jozy puts it in the back of the net. Gyau had a few shots, all on target, as well. overall, his passing was pretty good though. only had a few missed passes. in the second half, he certainly dropped off and his defensive abilities were exposed. either way, he showed great recovery speed/ability. he also seemed to have a little more trouble breaking free in the 2nd.

        the jury is still out, but i guess it was a better performance than what i expected from him.

    • nice write up bryan, thanks. I’m with Nate on Gyau tho but sure like the potential he demonstrates (speed and desire to get up and down, for example), and I like Morales, the guy plays with some fire out there.

      in 2010 many World Cup teams wish they had him (England for example), and he’s only gotten better and better over the years. he’s a force and a game changer and very consistent

      on the young guys losing steam in the 2nd half, I think it’s normal. they come out fired up and confident, play the game and get after it, and as it wears on their ability to focus and stay super confident gets tested and wanes…some learn to overcome that and become good players, others struggle with it and never really overcome it. we’ll see!

      • yeah, fair enough on Gyau. i think it’s pretty 50/50 on him. and yeah, Morales certainly was fired up! got a yellow card because he couldn’t get his mouth shut. lol

        totally agree about Rimando, the battle for #1 GK is going to be awesome.

        for sure, i think that was absolutely the case in the 2nd half. add in all the changes and a formation change and it was bound to happen. Green moving to attacking mid just didn’t work. his best games at BMII were up top or out wide. so i think that played a part in him dropping off. for Gyau, in a 4-3-3 he has a lot less defensive responsibilities and when we went into a 4-5-1, he was required to track back a lot more. and anytime you make 6 subs, there is going to be disruption…especially since none of these guys really played together before.

  12. Good first half. Bad second half. Defense looks deep for the next cycle. Ditto for midfield. Our attack is a huge concern for me. Altidore just doesn’t seem to get it. His hold up play isn’t really hold up play so much as it is post up for a pass and back into a defender without A) going to the ball b) any plan to turn the defender or c) looking for a teammate because his head is DOWN. Really disappointing play from him.

    • I agree, he loses the ball more often then not, if he does control a pass best case scenario was a dump off pass (which is good) but he never threatened to turn his defender and usually failed to control.

      • As my dad would say “he needs to stop pissing over the ball”. He needs to go to the ball. Turn. Hold. Distribute. Move off the ball for return. Rinse. Repeat. Surprised JK isn’t instructing him to do this. Coming to the ball is one of the most basic things you learn as a player in ANY sport.

      • Tell me Nate…exactly many has he scored in the last 12 months (minus the 2 against Nigeria)? He needs to score more for club and country.

      • The problem right now with Altidore is he is too willing to just be the hold up guy that outlets the ball when the US is going forward. He needs to get his edge back and shoot, even if it is from outside the box.

        1st half team looked good, six subs in the 2nd half hurt us. But the future looks bright! Rimando was beast!

      • Jozy needs to be more involved, period, there are too many times we are passing around the perimeter trying to advance the ball and he’s standing statuesque in the center instead of showing.

    • He’s also a goal away from being the 5th highest scorer in the history of the US national team.

      He also plays week in and week out in the EPL.

      He also holds the record for most goals scored in Europe by an American.

      My point is he’s got flaws, but he’s the best we got. And the margin is not close.

    • I’m sick of the hate on Jozy.

      There is no other US player who comes close. Sure he is not Ibrahimovitch, or one of the few consistent forwards in the world, but as the recent WC demonstrated the US looks less dangerous when he is absent

      • The goal goes right up the middle and he’s not even part of it. He’s a solid poacher but really he gets by because Boyd is now hurt and before that hasn’t busted out yet. It’s more by default from absence of competition than because he carries us in big games. That is left to others, like Dempsey.

      • jozy is an integral part of the goal: he’s occupying the other defender (which is how bedoya was open for the rebound).

        it’s like people don’t even realize that you can be effective without registering a goal or assist.

    • It’s an experimental friendly and the second half players are new to the team and each other. I took the whole game like watching a NFL preseason game, and the later stages like when they run the rest of the depth chart out to see who they like. The result was nice, and the first half passing was impressive, but the key thing in some senses was simply running out a bunch of people, mostly marginal, and seeing what happened. Certain people impressed, others didn’t.

      My didn’t impress column would include the anonymous Corona, the defense, and Guzan, who was distributionally weak.

      Jozy did a few decent things but one of his main problems is effort and showing to the ball. Most of the time he just stands around in the middle.

      The wing defenders were getting caught up, particularly FJ.


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