Czech Republic vs. USA: Winners and Losers from International Friendly
The United States began the new World Cup cycle with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at the Generali Arena.
In a game where many Americans earned their first appearance for the senior team, it was the experienced players who showed up and made a statement to manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
Alejandro Bedoya scored the lone goal of the match in the 39th minute off a turnover created by Mix Diskerud.
In the second half, Nick Rimando made a few major saves to preserve the victory.
Continue reading on for the biggest winners and losers from the United States' triumph in Prague.
Winner: Joe Gyau
In his first appearance for the United States, Joe Gyau impressed with his speed and confidence on the right wing.
Gyau was not afraid to test Petr Cech from distance early on, which is something most players may not attempt to do in their debut.
There were some raw aspects of the Borussia Dortmund player's game, but that has to be expected given the stage of his international career.
Although he did have a few nervy moments in the second half on defense, Gyau put in a solid 90 minutes of work for the Yanks.
USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said this of Gyau after the game via Jeffrey Donovan of AmericanSoccerNow.com: "He has speed, he has technique, he’s improvising, he’s taking people on, and if he loses the ball, he chases it. He will only get better."
Loser: Petr Cech
Most people will blame Vladimir Darida for the concession of the first United States goal, but Petr Cech deserves to carry the full load of criticism.
Cech threw the ball out of his area to Darida, but the midfielder was stripped by Mix Diskerud before he could get possession.
The Chelsea keeper had a chance to atone for both mistakes with a save on Diskerud's shot, but that did not turn out well, either, as he let the rebound bounce to Alejandro Bedoya.
Winner: Mix Diskerud
Mix Diskerud was handed more responsibility than usual in the midfield, and he thrived in that role in Prague.
Diskerud did all the dirty work in the 4-3-3 setup that started without a true defensive-minded player.
He may not have shown up until the 39th minute, when he initiated the buildup to the goal, but he had a very solid game and left a good impression on Jurgen Klinsmann for the future.
Expect Diskerud to receive another call for the two October matches against Ecuador and Honduras, as he attempts to solidify his role on the squad.
Loser: Julian Green
The young phenom who took over the final stages of the World Cup clash with Belgium struggled to make an impact in the first game after Brazil.
Julian Green took a backseat to Joe Gyau's performance on the opposite wing, and when he had a chance to make an impact, he didn't deliver.
During a two-minute span in the first half, Green took three corners that resulted in absolutely nothing resembling a chance.
Green will always be a player under the microscope, especially after his World Cup inclusion, which means he will be held to a higher standard throughout this four-year cycle.
Winner: John Brooks
With first-choice center-backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler not included on this roster, John Brooks was handed an opportunity to shine, and he did.
The young defender displayed plenty of confidence and kept the threat on his side of the field to a minimum.
Brooks did not put in much of an effort going forward on set pieces, but that can be forgiven for a player who showed that he is a real contender for a spot on the true first team.
Winner: Nick Rimando
Nick Rimando solidified his spot on the United States goalkeeping depth chart with an impressive second-half showing in net.
Rimando made a few saves in the final 45 minutes, with his most important one coming in the 85th minute on a shot from Radim Reznik.
In comparison to starter Brad Guzan, the Real Salt Lake shot-stopper was the better of the two keepers, but it is worth noting he had a weaker defense playing in front of him.
The biggest takeaway from the goalkeeping performances Wednesday night is that both players will be given an opportunity to prove their worth over the next year in Tim Howard's absence.
Nothing will be decided after this match, but Rimando did breathe life into a debate about whom the No. 1 keeper for the next year should be.
Follow Joe on Twitter: @JTansey90.
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