Key Issues That Will Shape USA's Clash with Czech Republic

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Key Issues That Will Shape USA's Clash with Czech Republic
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
It will be a different United States men's national team without Tim Howard.

The United States men's national team is going back to work this week. A friendly with the Czech Republic in Prague (Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. ET) is about as far as one can get from the intensity of the USA's round-of-16 loss to Belgium in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. The Czechs did not even qualify for that tournament.

Consistent with the USMNT's normal operation, the battles that will shape its match with the Czech Republic emanate mainly from off the pitch. As their recent World Cup performance illustrated, once the Americans get around to playing, they usually do a pretty credible job.

It's the angst and aggravation leading up to their matches that can wear on the Americans' supporters.

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