Player ratings: USMNT 1, Czech Republic 0. Which youngsters shone?

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A young United States team survived a bevy of substitutions and a big character test from the Czech Republic in a 1-0 road win on Wednesday on NBCSN.

The States played very well in the first half, but needed to adapt to an inspired Czech squad despite making several subs in the second half.

[ VIDEO: Watch full replay of the game ]

How did they play? Let us tell you our thoughts on a scale of 1-10, as we once again embark on the seemingly-arbitrary task of assigning value to 17 men, some of whom played less than a half-hour.

[ GAME STORY: US holds on to win in Czech Republic ]

Starting XI

Brad Guzan (8) – Didn’t have much to do at all, and kept the sheet clean. Made himself available to his defenders and cleared some trouble well. Didn’t hurt himself at all in the competition to be No. 1. He kept a clean sheet, so how do we not give him a 10? I don’t know.

Fabian Johnson (7) – It’s clear the young unit was instructed to find Johnson on the right flank and get ready for his crosses. While they weren’t always pinpoint, Johnson did well on both sides of the ball. Was part of the unit that closed things down late.

Michael Orozco (7) – Seemed to really understand his chance and embrace it, though perhaps too aggressively. Left some holes, but also played a very physical game.

John Anthony Brooks (6) – Headstrong and adventurous, you can see why he gives Hertha Berlin massive headaches. He’s capable of the sublime — ask Ghana — but also played with the ball inside his own half within the first 10 minutes, successfully fending off a Czech challenge, and lashed an unruly-length shot wide of the goal.

Ale Bedoya (7) – Did a bit of a late-Donovan spin, being in the right place at the right time to neatly tap in a goal. Still an offense-first player.

Joe Corona (6) – Honestly can’t pinpoint too many moments where the youngster really stood out, for better or for worse.

Mix Diskerud (9) – Made the steal that Bedoya banged home. Orchestrated a young attack and looked comfortable taking chances. Asked more questions as to why he didn’t get the chance to reinvigorate the States off the bench at World Cup.

Julian Green (6) – Was active and lively, but struggled with his aim (especially on corner kicks). A young man playing a young game, he’ll have wanted a better

Jozy Altidore (6) – Wearing the captain’s arm band, Altidore was a little clumsy with his touch but was a physical force to be reckoned with.

Joe Gyau (8) – Showed some serious panache with the ball, dribbling out of a double team along the touch line in his own half. Looked comfortable for a man on debut, willing to shoot on net early off an Altidore pass. Made a young mistake that nearly lead to an equalizer in the 69th minute, and seemed to wear down late.

[ VIDEO: Klinsmann says its semis or bust in 2018 World Cup ]

Substitutions

Nick Rimando (10). – Made a strong left-footed save on Krejci, who was sprung 1v1 on goal after a free kick. Also saved the side’s bacon after a Gyau giveaway. Made two incredible saves late, and has forced the question of whether he shouldn’t be No. 1 while Tim Howard is away. He is still 35, though.

Greg Garza (6) – Made a neat save of an electric Czech counter attack in the 76th minute.

Tim Ream (7) – Also had a big clear in the goal mouth after the aforementioned Gyau giveaway.

Alfredo Morales (5) – Not entirely visible until a high, harsh challenge in injury time helped earn him a yellow card.

Brek Shea (5) – Didn’t do much aside from a few fouls that may’ve not been fouls. Still, needed to do something and failed to do much

Emerson Hyndman (5) – Making his debut at 18, he committed a miserable giveaway in the 84th minute before racing back to win the ball on a clean tackle.

US lineup

United States: Guzan (Rimando, 46′), F. Johnson, Orozco (Ream, 46′), Brooks, Chandler (Garza, 63′); Bedoya, Corona (Shea, 63′), Diskerud (Morales, 63′); Green, Altidore, Gyau

Goals: Bedoya (39)

Tackling the MLS MVP debate: Which players are for real?

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We have a former MVP, a league newcomer and everything in between this season as MLS’ most prestigious individual award nears its end.

[ MORE: Atlanta continues home-field dominance with win vs. Impact ]

New York City FC’s David Villa is strongly in position to win his second MVP award in a row, while Diego Valeri, Josef Martinez and others chase the former Barcelona man.

PST takes a look at five serious candidates for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award this season.

David Villa

The debate starts with the NYCFC captain for a second consecutive season. “El Guaje” has come out and lit it up once more for the Bronx side and propelled his side into a prime spot to grab a first-round bye in the Eastern Conference, despite Atlanta’s hot pursuit. The biggest thing working against Villa right now is a combination of injuries and lacking finishing. The Spanish international hasn’t scored an MLS goal since August 20, making his stock fall a bit.

Diego Valeri

Is there a player hotter than Diego Valeri right now? Well, there might be one other, but we’ll talk about him in a minute. The Argentine is simply scorching MLS defenses right now, scoring in nine straight matches and lifting the Portland Timbers to within a point of the Western Conference lead. Not only has Valeri exhibited incredible finishing technique in 2017, but the 31-year-old has also recorded nine assists for Caleb Porter’s group. Valeri’s most important trait could very well be his clutch factor. The attacker has six (yes, six) game-winning finishes this season for the Timbers.

Josef Martinez

Cut the whole “he missed half the season” argument out of the equation because that argument actually helps his case. The Designated Player has scored 17 goals in 16 matches this season for newcomers Atlanta, and while the expansion side has plenty of attacking firepower, such as Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba and Yamil Asad, it’s Martinez that has proven to be the vital piece for Tata Martino and Co. down the stretch. By the way, Atlanta is 9-2-2 this season when Martinez starts for them. That’s not a coincidence.

Ignacio Piatti

These last two players won’t be sexy picks given the possibility that neither of their teams will make the postseason, but just listen to why they should be in consideration. Piatti has recorded a 25.3 percent conversion rate this season, which ranks second-highest in MLS when accounting for players that have scored 10 goals or more. The Impact have given up the second-most goals in the East this year, making it more difficult for Piatti and Co. to work

Lee Nguyen

To many, this pick will be a bit out of left field, but bear with me for a second. The 30-year-old has recorded 10 goals and 15 assists this season, making him the New England Revolution’s most dangerous attacking player because of his duel-threat abilities. Nguyen is the only player in Revolution history to record double-digit goals and assists in the same season, which further makes the case for what a historic season he is having. The Revs will need some help in order to qualify for the playoffs, but if they do, Nguyen’s stock will have to increase even more.

Report: UEFA forces PSG to sell players or risk exclusion from UCL

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Paris Saint-Germain is currently undergoing some issues within its squad, but the French giants may have bigger problems if the club fails to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play laws.

[ MORE: Arsenal knocks off West Brom behind Lacazette brace ]

The club went out and spent well over $400 million this summer when PSG acquired Neymar and Kylian Mbappe from Barcelona and Monaco, respectively, and now other major clubs throughout Europe are reportedly fed up with the team’s spending spree.

Spanish outlet El Pais has reported that PSG could face expulsion from the 2018/19 Champions League competition if the club doesn’t sell up to eight of its players.

PSG has reportedly transfer listed several big names within its roster, including Angel di Maria, Javier Pastore and Julian Draxler, while veteran Thiago Silva is also among those on the chopping block.

Given his recent spat with Neymar and others in the squad, Edinson Cavani could also be on his way out if PSG receives a bid for the Uruguayan.

There are still a few things that are unclear though about UEFA’s reported sanctions. There’s been no timetable given as to when PSG needs to comply, and more importantly, it’s hard to tell whether or not the club will actually be disciplined if they don’t sell more players in January or next summer.

Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Lacazette brace keeps Gunners rolling

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Arsenal’s early-season struggles appear to be behind them as Arsene Wenger and Co. kept up its fine form on Monday at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger’s side took down West Bromwich Albion, 2-0, in London behind a pair of goals from Alexandre Lacazette.

[ MORE: Hemed denies intent in Yedlin stamp ]

Lacazette continued his fine scoring form on Monday, scoring his third and fourth goals at the Emirates for the Gunners.

The Frenchman found the back of the net in the 18th minute following Alexis Sanchez’s free kick, which was originally saved by West Brom keeper Ben Foster.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

The Gunners then doubled their lead in the 67th minute in controversial fashion when Lacazette converted from the penalty spot.

The club’s big-money summer signing stepped up for the spot kick after Aaron Ramsey went down in the West Brom penalty area moments earlier. Baggies defender Allan Nyom was called for the foul as he shouldered Ramsey off the ball near the end line.

The Frenchman found the back of the net in the 18th minute following Alexis Sanchez’s free kick, which was originally saved by West Brom keeper Ben Foster.

Lacazette came so close to a second for the home side in the 51st minute after a brilliant build up down the left wing by Sead Kolasinac.

West Brom was furious not to have a penalty after nine minutes when it appeared that Shkodran Mustafi took down a surging Jay Rodriguez inside the Arsenal area. Rodriguez did himself no favors though after getting back up and carrying on with his run following the challenge from the Arsenal defender.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez, his attempt went off the post after Petr Cech got a small touch to his shot.

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Rodriguez was the biggest threat for West Brom on the day, with the Baggies attacker coming close to a breakthrough on several occasions.

The win for Arsenal brings the club up to seventh place in the PL, while West Brom drops one spot to 11th.

At the half: Lacazette finish has Gunners ahead against West Brom

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Alexandre Lacazette is looking like the real deal thus far for Arsenal, and the French striker continued his contributions for the Gunners during the first half.

[ MORE: Jose Mourinho escapes ban after sending off ]

While it was Alexis Sanchez that was narrowly denied a stunning free-kick finish seconds earlier, Lacazette was there to finish off the chance for his third goal of the season.

The Gunners sat on the front foot for much of the opening stanza, but West Bromwich Albion did have a bit of reason to be frustrated in the ninth minute.

Baggies forward Jay Rodriguez looked to be taken down by Shkodran Mustafi as the former tried to cut back towards the top of the Arsenal penalty area, however, referee Bobby Madley was having nothing of it.

Rodriguez had a second big opportunity to give the Baggies a goal in the 38th minute as Nacho Monreal cleared his header off the goal line.