Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Violent clashes threaten March 5 friendly
by Paul Kennedy, February 19th, 2014 8:17AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[UKRAINE-USA] In the wake of reports that 25 police and protesters were killed in violent clashes as the backdrop, U.S. Soccer has a tough decision to make in the coming days: go ahead with the U.S. national team's March 5 friendly against Kharkiv or scrap it?

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens in the wake of violent clashes. The protests are against President Viktor F. Yanukovych and pit generally pro-western citizens against a government seen as tilting toward Russia, echoing the days when Ukraine was part of the Soviet bloc. The Ukraine-USA game happens to be scheduled to be played in the pro-Russian city of Kharkiv -- the first capital of Soviet Ukraine in 1922.

Ukraine -- which lost out to France in a two-leg playoff for a finals spot -- gives the USA a chance to play a European team in a tune-up for the World Cup, where it will face two European teams, Germany and Portugal.

But the late date the game was announced -- Jan. 16 -- suggests that Ukraine was not the first choice as most big teams would have had their March 5 friendlies -- the last games with their full squads before rosters must be submitted to FIFA -- already finalized shortly after the World Cup draw on Dec. 6.

Kharkiv -- located 300 miles east of Kiev and near the Russian border -- was isn't exactly the most convenient location to host a game. U.S. players -- most of whom are expected to be European-based -- are scheduled to assemble in Frankfurt, Germany, for training on Monday and Tuesday and then take a charter flight to Kharkiv.

There is precedent for the USA pulling out of a friendly. It canceled a February 2011 match against Egypt nine days before the game was to be played as the Egyptian Revolution took off. On the other hand, FIFA went ahead with and the USA played in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup in Istanbul shortly after millions of citizens demonstrated against the Turkish government and 11 Turks were killed.

The crisis doesn't exactly come at the most convenient time. U.S. national team staff is in Florianopolis, Brazil, where FIFA is hosting a three-day workshop for representatives of the 32 nations competing at the World Cup.

UPDATE. Dynamo Kiev's Europa League game at home against Spain's Valencia on Thursday was moved to the Cypriot capital of Nicosia because of the situation in Kiev. The Dnipro-Tottenham game in  Dnipropetrovsk and  will go ahead in Ukraine as planned even though President Viktor Yanukovich declared Thursday a day of mourning.


1 comment
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: February 20, 2014 at 3:06 p.m.
    Let's all hope the situation stabilizes to the point our Nat's safety is guaranteed, before we let them take the pitch. Looking forward to a match on euro/asia soil!


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Man United humbles Galaxy 7-0 before 86,432 fans    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Manchester United showed it had no problem adapting to the system of new Dutch ...
Plans for Kansas City soccer village unveiled    
[U.S. SOCCER] Kansas City, Kan., is home to a state-of-the-art soccer stadium in Sporting Park. Now, ...
Earthquakes break out of slump in big way    
[MLS: Week 20] The San Jose Earthquakes snapped their five-game winless streak with a 5-1 win ...
NBA All-Star interrupts Real Madrid practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Summer soccer in the USA means big clubs from around the ...
Thorns quiet after early Morgan goal    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Portland Thorns FC scored 14 goals in their previous three games but ...
Champions Shield goes to Manchester City    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Sporting Kansas City lost for the first time in four games against English Premier ...
Scorpions jump into lead with third win    
[NASL: Fall Week 3] The San Antonio Scorpions moved on top in the NASL with a ...
Cuevas is happy to be back in Charleston    
[USL PRO: Week 19] Jose Cuevas, who had spent the last two seasons with the Charleston ...
What They're Saying: Brad Friedel    
"As a player, the odds are diminishing by the hour. It wasn't something that was planned ...
Tatu's Sting, Eclipse Select and Surf crowned    
[ECNL] Former indoor star Tatu coached the Dallas Sting to the U-17 Champions League title at ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives