Gyau given debut, Green 1st start for US vs Czechs
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed nine starters for Wednesday night's exhibition against the Czech Republic in Prague, giving forward Joe Gyau his national team debut and Julian Green his first start.
Defender Fabian Johnson and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya were the only holdovers from the starting lineup in the Americans' World Cup finale, a 2-1 second-round loss to Belgium in overtime on July 1.
Brad Guzan was in goal in place of Tim Howard, who is taking a year off from the national team. Michael Orozco and John Brooks were pared in central defense, with Johnson at right back and Timmy Chandler at left back.
Joe Corona was in the center of the three-man midfield, with Bedoya on the right and Mix Diskerud on the left. Jozy Altidore returned from a hamstring injury sustained in the World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16 and was in the center of the front line flanked by Gyau and Green.
Gyau, 21, is with Borussia Dortmund II in the German third division. His father, Philip, made six appearances for the U.S. national team and his grandfather, Joseph, played for Ghana. `
Brooks, also 21, was a surprise pick for the World Cup roster and scored a tiebreaking goal in the 86th minute of the 2-1 win over Ghana. The 19-year-old Green was the third-youngest player at the World Cup and scored against Belgium with his first touch of the tournament.
With Major League Soccer in the late stages of its season, Klinsmann selected just one player from MLS: backup goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Five of the 10 players on the bench had no national team experience: goalkeeper Cody Cropper, defender Greg Garza, midfielder Emerson Hyndman and forwards Jordan Morris and Rubio Rubin.
Morris, 19, is a sophomore at Stanford and trained against the national team in May during the Americans' preparation camp in Palo Alto, California. The U.S. Soccer Federation believes no college player has appeared for the national team since Ante Razov in 1995, the year before MLS started play.
Altidore was captain of the Americans for second time, the first since last Oct. 15 in a World Cup qualifier against Panama. Guzan was the oldest player in the starting lineup; he turns 30 on Sept. 9.