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Why Krasnodar? Because it’s warmer? Something else?

Nov 13, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT

Let’s face it, when it comes to the venue city for the United States national team’s final match of 2012, most of us couldn’t spell the darn thing, much less point to it on map.

On the list of Russian places we’ve all heard about, this is hardly Moscow or St. Petersburg. Heck, it’s not even Leningrad or Stalingrad, and such a place has not existed officially for years (not by one of those names, anyway).

Said U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann in a recent national teleconference: “That was totally up to Russia to choose the site. They chose the site before they had actually chosen the World Cup venues so at the point they chose Krasnodar, it was still one of the sites for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It gives us, at least, a little bit of a warmer climate in Krasnodar than maybe in St. Petersburg or in Moscow.”

‘Tis warmer, indeed. Look at Krasnodar on the map and you see that it’s about level, longitude wise, with areas of northern Italy. It’s on the Black Sea, about 900 miles south of Moscow, home to about 5 million and known as the “Russian Riviera.”

Whether that’s really the case or just so much marketing spin – we’ll have to ask the U.S. players and staff once they get back.

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