U.S. Soccer: USMNT-Ukraine friendly still being played

Jurgen Klinsmann


Just hours after reports circulated claiming the upcoming U.S. Men’s National Team friendly against Ukraine would be cancelled, U.S. Soccer issued the following statement late Monday to confirm that the match will still be played.

“The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled.”

Reports earlier on Monday quoted the Ukrainian Football Federation president as claiming the Ukrainian National Team would not play in the match due to the political strife in Ukraine.

What do you think of this development? Excited to hear the match is still on? Won’t believe it until the teams are on the field on Wednesday?

Share your thoughts below.

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72 Responses to U.S. Soccer: USMNT-Ukraine friendly still being played

  1. sir coble says:

    color me confused.

  2. Darwin says:


    • happyjuggler0 says:

      Sure, never count out money. However it may have occurred to someone in power in Ukraine that playing a “friendly” with a military superpower that you want to be “friendly” with as a possible counterweight to Russia makes good strategic sense.

      Also it occurred to me that one popular way to solidify national solidarity and national identity is via one’s national team in sports. Such a feeling of unity might come in handy very soon….

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Ukraine probably has a contract with us to host this and we may not be letting them out. Moving it to Cyprus probably makes it harder to say force majeure.

      That being said, with their political issues there are probably more important things than soccer.

      • James says:

        I’d like to think this isn’t true. If US Soccer is holding their feet to the fire to honor the game, it’d be pretty shameful considering the circumstances.

  3. Siberian says:

    I am guessing Ukraine is doing us a big favor still playing this friendly they don’t care about but the U.S. really needs.

    • Ian says:

      Football associations are not in the business of doing each other favors. I think a more likely scenario is that the Ukrainian FA views this friendly as a galvanizing cultural event, which is exactly what is needed at the moment.

  4. Nico C. says:

    For the respect of the people of Ukraine and the safety of our players, this is COMPLETELY irresponsible of US Soccer to keep this match on. They are on the brink of war. I don’t care if the match is being played in Cyprus. It’s still a huge risk. Why don’t we send aid and food rather than footballers?

    Teams US Soccer can easily substitute for a Germany-esque opponent: Croatia, Sweden, France, Bosnia, Italy…

    • John says:

      All those teams are playing a match and this is the last FIFA date between now and the World Cup.

    • Joe says:


      No team is available to play us on Wednesday. And furthermore, why shouldn’t this match go off? What exactly do you think the footballers will be doing otherwise…? Fighting?

    • Drewbles says:

      You see, you think you know what you’re talking about and that you have a solid point, but in actuality, neither is the case.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      How does unrest in Ukraine cause a game played in Cyprus to be “a huge risk?”

      • 1st Time Caller says:

        The added element of concern would be the car bomb that was set off on the automobile that belonged to a ref from CYPRUS’s domestic league and the fact that the Cyprus FA suspended the league play as a result.

        • Eurosnob says:

          What does the ref for the Cyprus domestic league have to do with the situation in Ukraine?

      • Helium-3 says:

        This is a soccer game and politics should be not considered when a soccer game is played between countries. Doesn’t FIFA forbid a country’s government from interfering with its soccer FA?

        FIFA should follow through and ban Ukraine if they pull out as this is not a political event.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “Why don’t we send aid and food rather than footballers?”

      You really think it’s either/or? What makes you think US political and aid efforts are at all hampered by the activities of the USSF?

    • JayAre says:

      “Why don’t we send aid and food” Lol. I know the US usually has good intentions (well at least that what I like to think) but a place like Ukraine holds a lot of strategic value……Put it this way lets just play the friendly we are contractually obligated to play a go about our business while avoiding a World War.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      send food? to whom exactly? theres no famine in ukraine. no one is hungry. sending food would be highly insulting to ukrainians. and incredibly stupid.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Lol My thoughts exactly Clyde. But you know… it’s the knee jerk easy solution to everything though right? Throw money at a problem from a high horse rather than good sense…. get “credit” for doing good without really having a clue about the complexities and nuances of the problem at hand, not having to truly get involved.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      and theres no risk dude. none. its cyprus. a different country. a vacation destination, for crying out loud. same risk as playing in germany – none.

    • Brett says:

      Both teams an their supporters will be safe in Cyprus. The reason to cancel is not for safety but because its asking a lot for them to play a game while their own sovereignty hangs in the balance.

    • ac70 says:

      Odds of any pro-Russian terrorist acts in Cyprus are very slim. It would anger the Cypriots, Greeks, and the Turks. I think the domestic violence against the ref mostly likely wouldn’t carry-over to an international match esp. when considering the countries involved. Violent acts occur everywhere and there is no need to over-react.

      Cyprus is a good location for a neutral match for almost everyone (Greece and Turkey excluded).

    • agnigrin says:

      This game is part of the US aid package that Kerry announced this morning… Also see happyjuggler0’s comment above!

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It would be hard to secure a game on a day’s notice.

      In terms of seriousness, think Mexico sends troops into El Paso or San Diego and takes over airports and other communications hubs while claiming to be protecting the interests of Mexican citizens. Yes, players might be called into the military. Yes, there might be bigger fish to fry than soccer right now.

      And then the second layer is you had soccer-related violence in Cyprus recently, so you can’t even assure neutral site safety.

    • Jeremy says:


      Get this man an education, immediately!

    • Don the Jewler says:

      NICO … people dying in Qatar just to build in-door soccer facilities is irresponsible and their deaths are caused by FIFA.

  5. Freddie Footballer says:

    Not as bad as scheduling a friendly vs Mexico in Arizona.

    • Brett says:

      A hostile test will be more valuable than a cupcake friendly.

    • Ian says:

      That’s actually brilliant way to expand soccer’s appeal. USA vs. Mexico played out in one of the most polarized states in the union. “‘Merica!”

  6. Dante says:

    This isn’t the last FIFA date before the World Cup. Seriously, do people understand how this sport works? There will be around three games before the World Cup.

    If you mean, this is the last FIFA date before the roster is named, then that’s different.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Everybody’s a dunce except you

    • FulhamDC says:

      Here is the FIFA calender for 2014. Please shoe us the other FIFA friendly dates before the start of the World Cup.

      link to fifa.com

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The US is clinging to this game because it would be a long time without a game for some of the European players and they want to evaluate possibilities under game conditions. The games later on are usually for match fitness and last minute decisions at specific spots, not general evaluation.

  7. MikeG says:

    Ukraine has a lot on there minds. My prayers to them. Glad the game will be played. I will stand for the Ukraine national anthem too. This country never attacked any other country in the history of there country. They do not need this Russian BS (Bolsheviks).

    • Brett says:

      Do we think that the Ukranian centra government is in control here? They’ve lost control. Russia is overreacting, but this didn’t just happen overnight. If Ukraine could mediate their own conflict intervention wouldn’t be necessary.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Oh, please. Let’s blame everything on the new Ukrainian government that is less than two weeks old. There was nothing on the news about the Crimea going out of control until Putin sent his troops there. Putin is itching to create a conflict and annex Ukraine. If his master plan fails, he’ll get to keep the Crimea as the consolation prize. And so far, he’s been several moves ahead of our administration and its European allies.

        • beachbum says:

          what should the western governments have done? we’ll see how this plays out over time, but Putin returning to isolationist policies may very well bring with it its own misery for Russia. we’ll see what happens

          • Drew11 says:

            Isolationist? You have it wrong. Putin is returning to the expansionist policies of the former USSR. Nothing isolationist about that if you are a Ukrainian or Lithuanian.

            • beachbum says:

              I understand what you’re trying to say, but it’s definitely isolationist, with the threat to split Europe too; the Germans have had a lot to say about it this. by ‘expanding’ in this way Putin isolates Russia from the west. We’ll see how much Putin gives a crap about that or not

              • Eurosnob says:

                Beachbum, that’s the point – the Western countries are trading with Russia like nothing happened. An immediate economic blockade/embargo on Russian goods (steel, chemicals, etc) until Russian troops move out would be a good initial step. Putin does not get intimidated by words, you need actions that would hurt him. Yes, the Chinese and Arabs will still trade with Putin, but the bulk of his dollars comes from the Western countries. If the economic situation in Russia gets worse, the people will take the streets in Moscow and he knows it.

      • agnigrin says:

        Yes they are. The Ukrainian Interim Government has been doing a pretty good job given the current situation. Hopefully the Russkies will lay off Ukraine.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        You have Ukrainians and Russians who don’t seem to want to be in a country together, like blue state red state on super-steroids. Half the country backs the government and half of them want to be ruled by a Russian. So it’s kind of like Syria, Iraq, etc. You can try to force them to live together but it may bubble up again. And if it’s going to split, then Russia wants access to Crimea for the Black Sea port they’ve fought over for centuries. When Ukraine started threatening to kick Russia out of Crimea it kind of prompted the issue of whether the port “lease” is a political fiction covering up de facto landholding. Kind of like, is Gitmo American or Cuban.

        • Drew11 says:

          When did the government of Ukraine ever threaten to kick Russia out of the Crimea? That is a fantasy.

          • Bac says:

            It was reported last night that actually they lease the warm water ports to Russia and have stated that as of 2017 they don’t want to renew the lease. I don’t know all the facts, this was stated by our former ambassador to Russia.

            I don’t like when this site becomes politically charged, always leads to stuff thrown all over the place…

            • user222 says:

              fyi… the lease that Yanek renew with the Russians expires in 2042.

              • Bac says:

                Yes User, thanks for the further clarification, I should have added that the ambassador also said in the report I watched that the new party didn’t like the new arrangements- or something to that effect…. but I wasn’t trying to draw out a long debate on the issue, I was merely trying to say that it’s sad to see fans come on this site and debate political issues, whether right or wrong, whatever their respective opinion… it always turns ugly.
                Obviously not everyone agrees, as you can see

            • Drew11 says:

              Get your facts together before you worry about the site. What I said was true.

    • agnigrin says:

      With you MikeG!

  8. Bobert says:

    You know what the Ukraine is? It’s a sitting duck. A road apple, Newman. The Ukraine is weak. It’s feeble. I think it’s time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.

  9. euroman says:

    Very dangerous for the team and staff to travel with the state of the world affairs right now, even more so than normal. I’m sure the players would rather head home but will being good soldiers with the hope JK will reward them.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Cyprus is over 900 miles away from the Ukraine.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      Dangerous to travel with the state of world affairs? Good Lord people. I’ve been out of the US for a few months now, but what kind of utterly false fear-mongering is going on in the US media that has people thinking like this?

      You want scary? Try a gun infested US city.

      • Brett says:

        You want scarier? Try a US city where only criminals and authorities have guns.

        • Micronesia Justin says:

          bahahahaha…sounds like the first line of a comic series…

        • beachbum says:

          you want scarier? try a US city where criminals, authorities and the rest of the citizens all have guns. Oh no, wait a minute, that’s just a deterrent, right?

  10. slowleftarm says:

    The game isn’t in Ukraine. I haven’t heard anything about Ukraine not wanting the game to go forward. There isn’t any reason to think there’s a safety issue. What’s the problem?

  11. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    If they back out, dress up a few Cyprus citizens in Ukraine uniforms and play the game. We can all then get very excited about the dominant play of Boyd, Shea, Sacha, Gooch, Castillo, and JAB. Jozy will score a hat trick and all the concerns about his scoring touch will go away. We can then focus all of our attention on improving the World Cup jersey.

    • Bob says:

      FTW! Who cares about world affairs when we can’t even find a decent shirt to wear to the World Cup?! Collars? In the amazon jungle? C’mon now?!

  12. dude1 says:

    I wish it was cancelled. If anything happened to our boys, this would go down as the worst decision the federation has made, by far.

  13. Joel says:

    Ukraine is game to you?

  14. Strider257 says:

    First let me say that I hope Ukraine can reach a peaceful internal settlement that allows them to govern themselves wisely. We have many connections there including having hosted an exchange student. So, the first priority here is minimizing any violence and getting life as much back to normal as possible.

    However, only at somewhat of a tangent, if Russia maintains or Heaven forbid expands their approach in Ukraine, which we all hope won’t happen, will one of the potential results be loss of the 2018 WC? I know FIFA tries to separate politics and football, but there comes a point where that argument will not be considered.

  15. Yevgeniy says:

    Slightly off-topic question. I will be on the plane from 7pm to midnight Eastern tomorrow night and I would like to watch the game without knowing the score first. I understand that ESPN watch app most likely won’t have the game till the following day. Is there another website that will have the game recorded and available to watch on a few-hour delay? Thanks

  16. Joe says:

    How come SBI consistently does not include the kickoff time in these types of updates? Is it beneath them? Do they assume that we all know the kickoff time or is there somewhere else on this site that I’m supposed to easily find the time?

    • happyjuggler0 says:

      I don’t think there is a location SBI that has match times.

      That said, there is indeed often the kickoff time and tv site in the article about a match.

      There is also, on weekends anyway, also an article titled, “Soccer on TV”.

      Finally on the right side column relatively near the top there is a set of links called, “Key Soccer Sites” which can often get you the kickoff time (in local time or GMT time or EST etc., depending on site).

      For US Nat’s matches, check out: link to ussoccer.com It is usually up to date, but not always. e.g. (It took them a long while to update the location of the match for the Ukraine game from UKraine to Cyprus).