Starikov called into USMNT camp

The USMNT camp of new faces has added another national team newcomer to the mix, with Bob Bradley calling in Russian-based striker Eugene Starikov.

Born in Ukraine, Starikov was raised in Florida and played for Stetson University before signing with Zenit St. Petersburg in 2009. He went on loan to Russian First Division side  Tom Tomsk, where he scored one goal in nine appearances.

Starikov brings the number of players in camp to 25, with Juan Agudelo also joining the camp after taking part in the U.S. Under-20 camp in Florida.

What do you think of Starikov being added? Like seeing Bradley taking a look at so many new faces?

Share your thoughts below.

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89 Responses to Starikov called into USMNT camp

  1. Benred says:

    Dude. Ives. I distinctly remember asking you about this guy two months ago and how he should be called to an USMNT camp but you refused to answer. I’m hurt.

  2. Second City says:

    Starikov’s Fifa rating is only a 59 overall.

    What’s that mean? Absolutely nothing other than he wont be capped by me anytime soon!

  3. Spectra says:

    How did he obtain citizenship or is his mother American.

    That leads to another question. Do you have to be a citizen or just have a parent that is?

  4. montana matt says:

    After losing out on Subotic/Ibsevic, I’m just glad BB is leaving no stone unturned.

  5. @ClevelandGooner says:

    My one issue with all of the fresh faces is that it’s difficult to evaluate players when the entire side is new. It’s much easier to judge talent when the player is the variable in a well known side.

  6. Ecualung says:

    Damn. I thought I was pretty up on USMNT prospects and Yanks abroad, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of this guy. How old is he?

  7. AJ says:

    Worth a kick of the tires I suppose.

    Anyone know how he got to be American? He was born in what is now the Ukraine and was only in college for a year. I’m guessing he got here a while before then, but does anyone have the details?

  8. Nicholas says:

    21 years old.

  9. jonk says:

    22. Broke into the starting lineup at Tom Tomsk midway through the fall and had a decent run of form.

  10. Dan says:

    I saw Zenit play in the Europa league. They play the game beautifully. They won every game in there group. Those are good surroundings to pluck a player.

  11. Sean says:

    You are a U.S. citizen if one of your parents is a citizen, even if you’re born in another country.

  12. AJ says:

    Answered my own question…should have asked Google before the SBI Mafia.

    link to

    Starikov was born in Soviet Union in the Black Sea port of Odessa, now part of Ukraine. However, his family moved to the United States when he was a young boy, so he has hailed from Palm Harbor, FL from an early age.

    After high school, Starikov took his talents to Stetson University, where he remained for two years.

  13. Mohammad says:

    How is it that I have never heard of this guy and I am usually in on these things. Way to go Bob Bradley!

  14. Aaron in StL says:

    Has anybody ever seen this kid play w/Tomsk? Looks like a big kid. Always interested to see some new names

  15. afc says:

    He’s eligible for Ukraine and Russia as well IIRC

  16. tom says:

    It might be hard for you and me to judge talent when it’s a bunch of players thrown together for the first time (that’s why we won’t be scouting the MLS Combine and will instead be reading Ives and other experts) but the players will be together for a couple of weeks and the coaches are professionals…if they only looked at one or two new faces per camp they’d never get a chance to evaluate half of these guys in person.

  17. Collin in KC says:

    Haha nice. It’s the first thing we all always do in this situation…is it not?

  18. anon says:

    We in no way lost out on Ibisevic, unless you know of a magical citizenship-granting procedure that the USSF refuses to use.

  19. Nicholas says:

    My bad…just turned 22 not too long ago.

  20. Carl says:

    Anyone just hear Colin Cowherd’s rant on the world cup just now? He’s right on.

  21. Xenia Rybak says:

    The country that is was born in is Ukraine not “the Ukraine” – just like Messi is from Argentina not the Argentina.

  22. Josh D says:

    The only way to get that rating up is to cap and work him in!

  23. Josh D says:

    Was wondering why he wasn’t brought in to begin with. Tidy young player, always good to give those abroad an opportunity. Hope to see him make his mark.

  24. jonk says:

    Thanks for the tip. I just found a whole article explaining how this mistake came to be. link to

  25. MadKingGeorge says:

    You are TOO NICE jonk. If this keeps up you are going to be voted out of the SBI Mafia!!

  26. alexgcsuf says:

    care to go into it further? I missed it.

  27. Adam R. says:

    Is he eligible for the Olympics? This would make a lot more sense if that is the case.

  28. afc says:

    No he’s an 88, cutoff for the Olympics is ’89 and younger. I guess he could be an over age player though.

  29. DC Josh says:

    It doesn’t matter how well you know certain players, a good player will always stand out above the rest.

  30. DC Josh says:

    Who cares what he thinks?

  31. anon says:

    the only question is: why the late call-up? was starikov initially holding out, then changed his mind? or did bradley look at this strikers on day 1 and decide “hey, we need some more talent here.”

  32. Carl says:

    He said that the decision to go to Quatar with the WC was halariously stupid. Not involving USA in the making of soccer bigger is stupid… Also that the decision to move it to the winter would make sense but that it should have never been given to Quatar in the first place. Smells of foul play in the decision.

  33. DC Josh says:

    Are you sure?? Check this out:

    link to

  34. RLW2020 says:

    +1 but isn’t Juan Agudelo a 58 or something.. that number doesn’t include potential

  35. otergod says:

    haha, yea, its so easy to blame the USSF without actually looking at the facts.

  36. jig says:

    pretty sure it makes sense regardless.

  37. Aaron in StL says:

    Revolutionary thought by ol’ Cowherd. Good thing he’s breaking the news, just one month late

  38. RedLine55 says:

    haha, awesome. that is all i can think about when I heard “the Ukraine”.

  39. Second City says:

    Knowing nothing about the kid, when I had looked him up on FIFA a few hours ago, I believe his listed height was like 5’8.

    Not that FIFA 11′ is the gospel but just throwing that out there since information on him seems a bit scarce.

  40. MesaATLien says:

    Well, it could be a situation like Alejandro Bedoya’s. Maybe he had a previous engagement. Just thinkin’ aloud, here…

  41. Neruda says:

    BB had a dream two nights ago and in it he was picking his WC squad and his striker pool was abhorrent and he ended bringing Robbie Findley and PLAYING him, lots. Upon waking up shaking with fear he realized that this actually happened (insert NOOO! scream as he looks heavenward). He decided that would never happen again and put in a call to Russia.

  42. MesaATLien says:

    Cowherd is the same person (a la Jim Rome) who used to sh*t on soccer, so his word means nothing to me.

    But, the Qatar situation has been updated recently, given Blatter’s current comments about how he “expects it to be held in Winter”.

  43. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Thought the name sounded familiar. I remember reading about him in the local papers. Palm Harbor is near Tampa/St.Pete metro area.

    link to

    Went on to play at Stetson (near Orlando). By perusing the Stetson website, it looks like he left after his soph year.

    Yes, bored on Friday.

  44. Second City says:

    I enjoy talk radio, especially sports radio but anyone who can listen to him regularly or irregularly should be given a medal.

    To say nothing of his general ignorant stance, opinions and viewpoints on the sport.

    Adding to Aaron STL’s on his revolutionary commentary…it must have been typed up by an intern for him about a month ago and him just getting to it shows how much credence we should give to anything he says on the topic.

    Regardless if the opinion was typed up for him by an intern.

  45. R says:

    Isn’t Ryan Smith’s dad an American?

  46. jcl says:

    So he gets called in, but George John still can’t get a look

  47. R says:

    RE: Ryan Smith (from the Shin Guardian, 9.9.10)

    TSG: You’re eligible to play national ball for the States. Would you consider playing for the Yanks?

    Smith: I would. I definitely would.

    I just. You know, it’s up to the guys at U.S. Soccer. If they came and asked me, I’d definitely consider, but I’ve heard nothing yet.

  48. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Well it doesn’t matter what this guy got his citizenship by. either was born here or by american parents or naturalization. What matter the most is that is great that we getting kids that are willing to play for the USA, We had lost other players like G.Rossi, Subotic & Ibsevic even tho Ibesevic didn’t get his Citizenship yet. We have critized Bob Bradley for not given chances to other people for call up for the USNMT and that he only call guys that he feel comfortable. Well now that he is calling other guys we start asking question if this guy is good or does he had a citizenship or how he obtain it. Don’t you think if he was not a citizen or good player Bob Bradley waste his time calling him up for the USNMT. I’m glad he is doing this, now I just want him to give a chance at the kids from the U20 & U17 I think there are good talents there also to be call for the Senior Camp.. Like the Kids from Germany.

  49. WileyJ says:


  50. RobStyles says:

    Good decision by Bradley. With the current state of American strikers I think that Bradley should absolutely explore all options.

  51. WileyJ says:

    I actually hope BB had/has this realization.

  52. john.q says:

    props to bradley for leaving no stone unturned.
    is there a left back some where in russia that we can call in? that would be fantastic.

  53. ChrisDeNY says:

    Agudelo didn’t look that great in Open Cup games. When he played with the full squad, he definitely improved. (Same with Tchani, BTW).

  54. Colin says:

    My ranking on FIFA 11 is a 99. I’m waiting for my call from BB any day now…

  55. Colin says:

    Cow**** and Rome will never get an ounce of love from me due to their irrational hatred of soccer. For my money, I’ll take Dan Patrick, because at least he reps Landon Donovan and a few of his staffers are known fans.

  56. Louis Z says:

    actually you are not an american citizen by just having an american parent if you were born abroad. You can apply to become a US citizen without having to wait the 2+3=5 years process time.

  57. TimN says:

    I think the U.S. needs to aggressively pursue striker options. I personally don’t think Jozy Altidore is ever going to be a prolific scorer…his touch just isn’t good enough to create a lot of chances on his own, which means he has to realy on excellent service…that doesn’t make for a lot of goals. Charlie Davies has a long road still ahead, and who knows how that will turn out. Outside of these two, we’re left with Findley, Buddle, and Gomez. I find it interesting that Dempsey finds himself in the forward role a lot at Fulham, but not much for the Nats…why?

    Other guys we should look at at some juncture are Ryan Guy and Mike Grella.

  58. kvnnvk says:

    you are automatically a US citizen if you are born abroad to an american parent, assuming the said parent spent at least 4 consecutive years in the US before he or she turned 18.

  59. Paul C says:

    You’re wrong.

    My nephew was born in Spain. His mother is American, his father is Russian. He has three legal citizenships. Spanish, American, and Russian.

  60. Paul C says:

    The saga finally ends! Glad to hear Evgeni (Eugene) get called in. Kids gotten a lot of hype in Russia.

  61. Paul says:

    I went to Stetson and saw him play. Good player and high energy. Was pretty raw when I saw him and I spoke to the Stetson coach a few months ago and he said that Eugene just up and left the university during the semester and didn’t tell anyone. Only other thing of note is his Dad had the annoying habit of saying “Euuuuuuuuuugeeeeeeeene” at the top of his lungs ALL game long.

  62. j5 says:

    I actually hate Cowherd, passionately, but over the past year or two (starting with the Confederation’s Cup win over Spain) he’s been on board with the idea that USMNT soccer has a chance to be the next big thing.

  63. jig says:

    statement makes little sense.

  64. I JIK I RED BULLZ says:

    Wouldn’t he still be eligible to play for the Olympics because he won’t turn 24 until November which would be after the Olympics in 2012? Wouldn’t this also apply to Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj as well? Because they weill all still be 23 years of age during the 2012 Olympics.

  65. jig says:

    I’d say the striker problem is more pressing than the left back problem.

  66. Shmenge says:

    Believe me, if he can score goals from the forward position for the U.S., I’ll be screaming “Euuuuuuuugeeeeeeeeeene”, as well.

  67. torporindy says:


  68. alexalex says:

    Actually a lot of people refer to Argentina as “La Argentina,” FYI. Haha.

  69. Brad says:

    so can the Ukrainian kid play? does he start for his club team? Where does Ryan Smith play?

  70. Brad says:

    nevermind, I googled Ryan Smith. Seems like he’s worth a call up if he’s a winger, we need wide players…

  71. Second City says:

    If I was a Googlian-Wizard I’d have the ability to link his comments about said Confederations Cup.

    Of which, he was completely condecending and dismissive about the tournament and the result(s).

    Perhaps his positive spin started after that?

    Either way, he’s a D-bag and that’s even excluding his views on soccer.

  72. Robert Daniels says:

    But now he’s jumping on the band wagon. Face it, we need more of his type in the media if we ever expect to make soccer mainstream in the US. I remember what his feelings were but it dosen’t matter anymore, at least he cares now.

  73. mwc says:

    If you click the Yanks Abroad Soccer Highlights link under the SBI Soccer Blog Roll on the righthand side of this page, there are a few highlights of Starikov. When you get to the site, just put Starikov into the site search feature.

  74. Paul C says:

    link to

    I know it was his college days, and a lot of time has passed. But, I always say a flare player is what the Nats lack.

  75. R says:

    I’ve been pushing hard today to get Ryan Smith some USMNT love, but even I can’t defend this.

    link to

  76. Juan from L.A. says:

    Super nice and very well deserved. Forwards are one of our weakest group or position in the USMNT.

  77. GW says:

    ” I find it interesting that Dempsey finds himself in the forward role a lot at Fulham, but not much for the Nats…why?”

    At Fulham they only play him there out of sheer necessity. It’s not really his best spot. If it were Fulham wouldn’t be looking for strikers so much during this transfer window. If you check really close you’ll find that he scores just as much for the USMNT as an atacking mid as he does when played up front, though he moves around so much during the course of the game it can be very hard to verify that.

    Ryan Guy might be worth pursuing though his league is ranked 25th in Europe (Norway’s is ranked 24th).

    However, on paper Mike Grella seems very underwhelming. It seems to me the only reason he is in this conversation is because he is an American who plays forward professionally in Europe. Other than that he seems very unimpressive. Have you ever seen him play?

  78. GW says:

    When Smith came here from England he was in the process of establishing dual citizenship as his dad is an American.

    It’s unclear to me how long that process takes though I suspect it would be shorter than the usual getting a green card , wating 5 years deal. Given the US’ need in this spot, and his apparent skill, I suspect Smith is still ineligible.

  79. Jose Mourinho says:

    Shut up jcl!

  80. I’ve watched KC play a few times last year and Smith always stood out to me.

    Hes has great pace, ball skills, a good work rate and if I’m not mistaken a solid left boot. Deserves a look at least.

  81. I’ve watched KC play a few times and Smith always stood out to me.

    Hes got pace, a spirited work rate, ball skills and if I’m not mistaken a solid left boot.

    Deserves a look at least IMO

  82. Jim G says:

    Easiest way to know to “the” or not to “the” is if the country is a plural/group or not. United States = the. Netherlands = the. UAE = the. United Kingdom = the. Ukrane, like Canada or Korea, does not have “the”.

  83. Paul says:

    A little didactic, but The Argentine is also correct.

  84. MicahK says:

    Bradley is a idiot I would rather have Williams be called in then this guy, Williams need to be tied to the US men.

  85. TimN says:

    I still think it wouldn’t hurt to play Dempsey up front with the Nats. Jozy just doesn’t pose much of a scoring threat to opposing defenses. Dempsey does, whether he’s doing it from the midfield or not. Dempsey is also the guy who’s starting and scoring in the EPL, whereas Jozy sees limited action in Spain, and much less of the back of the net. With the Nats, we have more options at midfield that could play Dempsey’s role there just fine.

    As far as Guy and the Irish First Division, I don’t get too caught up in league rankings. He has 26 goals in 132 league appearances…that’s a goal ~ every 5 games. Not bad. He also made’s Best 11 American’s playing in Europe. I think he warrants a look.

    As for Grella, he played at Duke and was a first team All-American. While at Leeds, he was playing behind red-hot Jermaine Beckford, and fell down the totem. He was loaned to Carlisle United, and has scored 3 goals in 6 appearances. Carlisle United wanted to extend the loan the entire season, but Leeds declined, so maybe he will see his way back into the fold at Leeds. I don’t think it hurts anything to bring him into a camp. He has also played for the US MNT U-18’s and U-20’s.

  86. GW says:

    Dempsey has played up top for the USMNT many,many times. As I said before where he starts out doesn’t seem to affect his scoring rate.

    As for our wealth of options in midfield it seems like that doesn’t it? Then when you get to crunch time everyone turns up hurt or out of form. Before you mention that Holden should have replaced Dempsey long ago, I would point out that Holden wasn’t playing this good a year ago and even so, he is not a direct replacement for Dempsey.

    I’m not overly concerned about Altidore because he seems to be slowly turning into a decent target man and for the foreseeable future the scoring for this team will come from it’s two legitimate star attacking players, Donovan and Dempsey.

    Since you almost always have to play these two it seems the idea is to find complementary players for them.

    Davies was good in that his speed and willingness to go wide gave Donovan a good foil during his counterattacks. Given that the players I find intriguing are the Ryans, Guy and Smith. I’ve seen neither one play but if they are good on the ball, are direct and fast, they could help give the US attack the width and depth it needs to free up Donovan and create the kind of havoc that Dempsey preys on.

    For me Davies’ worth was not so much about what he did drectly but in how he freed up LD and Deuce who were and are the USMNT’s best goal scorers, position be dammed, anyway.

  87. GW says:

    Who is Williams?