USMNT v Ukraine Friendly Preview
Mar 04, 2014 4:08 PM EST
After having to relocate the match and then rumors of having the friendly cancelled only days prior, the United States Men's National Team boarded a plane from Frankfurt, Germany to Larnaca, Cyprus to square off against Ukraine on Wednesday.
U.S. Soccer announced that the match will be played as scheduled despite the president of the Ukrainian Football Federation claiming that the Ukrainian National Team would not travel to Cyprus because of the international conflict developing in the region.
Now, head coach Jürgen Klinsmann can focus on evaluating his European-based talent before committing to his final selection before the World Cup training camp. The March 5 date is the last international opening and therefore the last opportunity Klinsmann will have to look at the Americans abroad.
Clint Dempsey and Edgar Castillo are the only non-European based players on the roster. The USMNT will take on rival Mexico on April 2 in Phoenix, Ariz. but Klinsmann will only be able to add domestic players to his roster.
Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream were taken off the roster for various reasons with Birmingham City's Jonathan Spector joining the USMNT to make the most of the opportunity and try to earn a spot on the World Cup roster. This is Spector's first cap since a 1-0 victory over Italy in 2012.
These two final matches are critical for Klinsmann and the coaching staff to solidify a winning formula as they head into Brazil in June.
The USMNT will also be wearing their new World Cup home uniforms that were released on Monday.
Kickoff is at 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local time) at Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus.
USMNT Roster vs. Ukraine
Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)