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.
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 ]
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.
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.
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)