February 27, 2014
Mostly European based players called for U.S. match with Ukraine
CHICAGO - U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 24 players to training camp in Frankfurt, Germany, to begin preparations for its match against Ukraine on March 5 in Larnaca, Cyprus. All but three of the players are European based.
|Clint Dempsey was one of only three North American based players called for the U.S. National Team friendly against Ukraine
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The match was set to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, but the location was changed due to deteriorating conditions in the European country. Kickoff at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca is set for 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local). The match will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer
"In conjunction with the Football Federation of Ukraine, we have moved the match on March 5 to Larnaca, Cyprus," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "We appreciate the efforts of Ukraine and the Cyprus Football Association as we worked through this situation."
The last time the U.S. men played an international friendly on neutral ground was against Poland on March 1, 2006, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where a goal from current U.S. captain Clint Dempsey sealed a 1-0 victory.
"Finding a solution and moving the game outside the country and playing in Cyprus is helpful for both of us," Klinsmann said in a statement. "It's definitely a very good 'Plan B,' and we very much appreciate it and say thank you to the Ukraine Federation and the Cyprus Federation.
The game falls on the only FIFA international fixture date before May, making this the one opportunity for European-based players to play for the national side prior to the start of the World Cup preparation camp. The team will begin gathering in Frankfurt on Sunday, March 2, for two days of training before traveling to play for the first time in Cyprus.
"This game is a huge opportunity, mainly for our European-based players, for those guys to prove to us that they are eager and hungry to jump on the train to the FIFA World Cup," Klinsmann said. "With this game being the only chance for these players before our World Cup preparation camp begins, it's even more important they have a good showing."
A total of 21 players on the roster ply their trade in Europe. Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, Seattle Sounders FC forward Dempsey and Club Tijuana defender Edgar Castillo are the only representatives on the squad from North American teams. In addition, 18-year-old Bayern Munich forward Julian Green will participate in training camp, but is not yet eligible to play in a match for the United States.
Missing from the U.S. roster was LA Galaxy midfielder-forward Landon Donovan, who has played in the last three World Cup.s
The U.S. roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)