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Confirmed: Ukraine to face US on Wednesday after all

Mar 3, 2014, 10:16 PM EDT

us soccer

NBC Sports can confirm that the United States friendly against Ukraine scheduled for Wednesday in Cyprus will go ahead as planned.

US Soccer has released the following statement:

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

The U.S. team is departing from Frankfurt in four hours for Cyprus.

Ukraine national football federation president Anatoliy Konkov reportedly said the team would not travel to Cyprus for the match, preferring to stay home in their homeland, which is undergoing much turmoil.

Here’s what Konkov said:

“We cannot hold the national championship so what kind of football can we talk of at all? If we do not have an opportunity to play on home soil, why shall we go to Cyprus in those troubled times for your country? We play for our people and country. Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home.”

It would’ve certainly been understandable — even in the big money, high profile world of international football — had Ukraine decided to pull out of the friendly. It had already been moved from their home country, and Cyprus dealt with a car bomb attack on Friday.

So now onto the match, which is not only sure to be an emotional affair but a welcome distraction for the Ukrainian soccer fan (and perhaps even for those who don’t normally pay attention to the sport). The latest has Jonathan Spector joining the US camp, as Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream had to withdraw for different reasons.

  1. mkbryant3 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    If Ukraine scores, I sense a political undershirt.

  2. el timo - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    But will the US defense cooperate? No way. Good thing the US will be wearing the same undershirt.

  3. rafibomb10 - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    I’m just glad they are playing! Now I have something to DVR on Wednesday. I love watching the boys play.

    And while I’d love to see wonderkid Julian Green suit up, just seeing him on the sideline and on the bench right now is good enough for me. Jurgen…do some heavy recruiting and get this kid to pick the US. I’d even consider bringing him in for the WC camp come May. Keep him around as much as possible. We could essentially offer him a World Cup spot, while Germany can’t. Would you rather have Brek Shea/Ale Bedoya out wide, or Julian Green? Nuff said!

    • bear06 - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      Yeah, I would easily rather have Green over shea any day of the week.

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