The US is 0-2-1 all-time against Ukraine with Ukraine winning the last meeting, 1-0, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on October 23, 1993. This is also the first meeting between these two teams outside the United States.
This will be the US’s first neutral site friendly since beating Australia, 3-1, in Roodepoort, South Africa prior to the 2010 World Cup.
With 52 career wins, Tim Howard is one win shy of tying Kasey Keller for the most in USMNT history by a goalkeeper.
As of right now, the US-Ukraine friendly is back on after it looked like it was going to be canceled. If you have been out of the loop, three players withdrew from the roster on Saturday due to injuries/personal reasons, while Jonathan Spector was called into camp.
Eric Lichaj also had to be subbed out early and limped off the field in Nottingham Forest’s game against Wigan over the weekend.
We did have some goals this weekend. Terrence Boyd scored in Rapid Vienna’s 6-3 loss to Salzburg (highlights). DaMarcus Beasley saw his daughter be born on Saturday then scored a goal on Sunday (highlights). Christian Eissele is back at it in Finland and recorded a hat trick for Kemi Kings. And Mario Rodriguez found the back of the net twice in Borussia Mönchengladbach II’s win on Friday. As always, you can follow along with our goal tracker.
Nothing new to report on the USMNT roster or whether the game will even be played, although it sounds like we should be hearing something in the near future. That said, John Brooks should be one of the players heading to Ukraine friendly according to this German report.
While the new home World Cup shirt for the USMNT leaked last month, here is a new/slightly better view of the pretty basic polo-looking shirt. There was also a lot of buzz on Twitter over the weekend over a possible crazy blue/red away shirt, but it looked pretty photoshopped and came from someone who posted some bogus jerseys back in September. So we continue to play the waiting game.
ESPN released its full TV schedule for this summer’s World Cup yesterday. Also on the World Cup front, just over 125,000 tickets for the World Cup were allocated to people in the United States, the most of any country outside Brazil. Granted not all 125,000 tickets are for US games or for US fans, it is still nice to see the US up there. I was luckily able to get tickets for the USMNT games against Ghana and Portugal in the latest lottery. Any other OT readers score some tickets?
The National Soccer Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2014 yesterday and it is a good one. The three-person class contains two players (Brian McBride and Kristine Lilly) and one coach (Bob Bradley). Congrats to all three.
As Howie posted yesterday, Fabian Johnson has agreed to sign with Borussia Mönchengladbach this summer.
A few things from the weekend. Jerome Kiesewetter scored a goal for Hertha Berlin II (highlights) and Justin Moose scored for SJK in the Finnish League Cup (still looking for highlights).
The English League Championship is doing a great job of posting quality highlights the day after games on Youtube so here is a roundup of all the games featuring Americans from the weekend.
Terrence Boyd came off the bench and scored Rapid Vienna’s lone goal in their 2-1 loss to Admira. The goal gives Boyd 13 across all competitions in 2013-14. Here are some highlights, including Boyd’s goal.
Reports came out yesterday (later confirmed by Steven Goff) that the USMNT will play at Ukraine on March 5. It is a FIFA international fixture date, so the USMNT should likely have a strong squad.
The US had a long trip down to Brazil earlier this week. US Soccer’s website has a diary on the long/delayed trip as well as a short video with Dax McCarty keeping us updated. While down in Brazil, Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to some press about facing Germany at the World Cup. Klinsmann also had some quotes regarding the USMNT migration to MLS.
Oh Juan Agudelo. This is what is (sort of) known. He is in England at Stoke City (with Brek Shea). Stoke City’s chairman is claiming that they haven’t signed him. But Greg Seltzer disagrees and gives us his rundown. To go along with the rumored teams Seltzer mentioned as possibly loan destinations, there appears to be some interest from Esbjerg in Denmark. I am sure more details will slowly come out over the next week.
Some final numbers on Michael Bradley’s transfer. His $40 million contract over six years is the second largest in MLS history (Beckham is #1), while his $10 million transfer fee is the second largest in MLS history (Defoe is #1).
An interesting stat about Tijuana’s fan base: “35% of fans inside Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente for any given Liga MX home game travel down from the United States”. I am actually looking into making my first trip down there to catch a game this spring.
Lets end on a couple notes about some youngsters. U-17 Danny Barbir played and scored a goal as a guest player for Manchester City at the ALKASS International Cup. As for 16-year-old Alonzo Clarke, it looks like he is headed to Manchester United for a second trial.
Josh Gatt is ahead of schedule on his road to recovery. We just don’t know exactly what that schedule is at the moment.
Zak Whitbread has missed eight games due to a calf injury, but Derby County manager Paul Simpson is hoping he can return to the field next week.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman told the team’s website that he is happy that Stuart Holden is back in the UK, but that he still has a long way to go.
US Soccer finally put up the full match of the US U-17′s win over Brazil in the last game of the Nike International Friendlies. Will Parchman, who was in attendance, wrote about Brazil quitting on the match with about 5-10 minutes left.
Terrence Boyd went all gobble gobble gobble on Thursday and scored his 11th goal of the season across all competitions in Rapid Vienna’s 2-1 win over Thun in Europa League action. Here are some highlights.
The international window has ended and now it is the return of some links.
The big news from Wednesday was that Juan Agudelo’s work permit appeal was denied. It looks like Stoke City officials were stunned by the decision. And Kenny Dalglish, Jurgen Klinsman and Mark Hughes were there to argue in his favor.
On the injury front, Danny Williams could be available for Reading this weekend as they take on Blackburn Rovers.
It sounds like the earliest we could see Jonathan Spector return to the field after his thigh injury is at the end of the month. Spector has started running again according manager Lee Clark.
Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba thinks Stuart Holden is the best player that he has played with during his career.
Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern defeated Idar-Oberstein, 5-0, in a friendly during the international window this week. Wooten was one of the goal scorers and you can see his goal at the 3:37 mark of this video.
Esteban Rodriguez played on the US U-17 team at the 2011 U-17 World Cup and is now with Tijuana’s U-20 team. He scored a pretty sweet goal this week at the 1:45 mark of this video.
It is likely that Clint Dempsey will head back to England for a winter loan and one of the first rumors has West Ham United as the early leaders (which probably means he won’t end up there).
It is also that time of year when MLS players head to Europe for training stints. LA Galaxy youngster Jack McBean is already in England doing stints with Wolverhampton and Blackburn Rovers. Chicago Fire players Dilly Duka and Victor Pineda are headed to Spain to train with Atlético Madrid. And DeAndre Yedlin could be headed to Germany to train with Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96.
Ljungskile SK are overhauling their roster this offseason. You can now add Paul Tracy to the list of Americans who are parting ways with the club (also Patrick Hopkins and Pat McMahon). That leaves Charlie Campbell and Aaron Nichols as the only Americans still at the club. And they have brought in Los Angeles Blues defender Cory Miller for a trial. Ljungskile SK likes themselves some Americans.
Now that we know all 32 teams for the World Cup, here is that World Cup draw simulator again. I just got the US in a group with Argentina, France and Portugal. Ouch.
And courtesy of Brian Straus, here are all 32 badges from the teams who made the World Cup. I probably like the Netherlands’ badge the most.