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.
The big news of yesterday was Jurgen Klinsmann announcing his 24-man roster for the Ukraine friendly. As usual, Klinsi did his post-roster-release Q&A with US Soccer’s website. And we already knew the match got moved to Cyprus and now we know it will be played at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca at 2 PM Eastern on ESPN2.
Klinsmann was able to get Julian Green into training (he won’t play in the game) and it looks like he is still recruiting Gedion Zelalem and Shawn Parker.
According to this BBC report, the US will play Nigeria in Jacksonville in the last of its three pre-World Cup friendlies.
Another photo of the new home US World Cup shirt is making the rounds on Facebook. The guys over at Todo Sobre Camisetas also had this to say about the away shirt when I asked them earlier this week:
Word on the USA away (no pics) is “mainly red w a large blue and smaller white stripe on the front with star embossed design inside it.”
Greg Seltzer talked to Aron Johannsson this week about what it will take to make the plane to Brazil this summer. ArJo went 75 minutes yesterday in AZ Alkmaar’s 1-1 draw (won 2-1 on aggregate) to Slovan Liberec, advancing to the Round of 16 in Europa League.
Not shocking, Blackpool did not offer a contract to Freddy Adu. I still have no clue how he would get the work permit even if they did.
I posted earlier this week that Michael Stephens was back training again with Stabæk. And now it looks like he is negotiating a deal with the Norwegian club.
The last time we heard from Jamel Johnson, not to be confused with Jemal Johnson, he was in Austria playing with four division side SV Gersthof. And now he is participating with the New England Revolution’s preseason camp.
There is a good chance we see Johannsson this weekend when AZ Alkmaar host Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht on Saturday.
While there were some small fears that Eric Lichaj’s groin injury could be a hernia, Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies spoke to the press yesterday after Forest’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town. Davies announced that it is just a groin injury and that they are hoping for his return in 7-10 days (around the 5:00 mark).
Sebastian Lletget scored a goal for West Ham United’s U-21 team in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Monday. The goal is Lletget’s fourth of the year with West Ham’s U-21 team.
Stuart Holden is starting to train again with Bolton Wanderers and he received some good news from manager Dougie Freedman last week. It looks like Freedman and Bolton are going to give him a new contract this summer once his current contract expires.
Kicker is reporting that Fabian Johnson will sign with Borussia Moenchengladbach this summer once his current contract with Hoffenheim expires.
With a bunch of Huddersfield Town’s players returning from injury, manager Mark Robins told the UK press that they might send Duane Holmes out on loan so he can get some playing time.
Another “Jozy Altidore does more than score goals” type story out of Sunderland. Teammate Adam Johnson had some nice things to say about Altidore’s performance against Newcastle from two weeks ago.
“There is a lot more to him than goals. Against Newcastle he must have been a nightmare to play against. Genuinely, I thought he was awesome.
Even though he scored two goals in a friendly for Bob Bradley’s Stabæk last week, Michael Stephens, as well as fellow American Christian Eissele, are trialing with Swedish side GAIS.
Goalkeeper Alex Horwath has been trialing with Ljungskile SK in Sweden over the last two weeks and he was rewarded with a contract with the club.
And finally, some new jerseys got released this week. Josh Gatt, Ben Spencer, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK have some new home and away kits for the 2014 season. While Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest have a new third jersey for this year.
Aron Johannsson had a productive 45 minutes before being subbed out at halftime to due an injury (minor thigh strain) in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-0 victory. Johannsson got the scoring going in the 20th minute when his cross was deflected into Vitesse’s goal by a Vitesse defender for an own goal and he scored one for himself in the 42nd minute with a nice chip over the goalkeeper. Here are both goals.
Saturday’s friendly at the StubHub Center has officially reached sold out status. It marks only the second time that the USMNT have sold out at the StubHub Center (also in 2007 in a Gold Cup match against Trinidad & Tobago).
It looks like one of the May/June pre-World Cup friendlies will be held at Red Bull Arena. If I had to guess based on the other rumors out there, I would guess this would be the game against Serbia (but there are so many different rumors out there right now on location and opponents).
Jeff Carlisle takes a look at the relationship of Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin as Evans helps mentor his club teammate while also competing against him for the right back spot.
As for some other USMNT tidbits, here is a video of the team having a BBQ at the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo during their trip last week. And Will Parchman decided to put together an all-time USMNT XI based on guys who wore #1-11 at a World Cup.
Roger Bennett decided to look into why Americans are not taken seriously in Europe. There are some good quotes from Herculez Gomez.
I’m assuming most people know this by no, but Jermaine Jones is headed to Besiktas on loan for the rest of the season. And they decided to post a video of Jones going through his medical because they are crazy in Turkey.
According to The Independent’s Ed Aarons, Crystal Palace put in a transfer bid for Fabian Johnson, but Johnson decided to stay at Hoffenheim.
Mike Grella will be going on trial with Swedish side Falkenbergs FF according to this report. Falkenbergs are new to the Allsvenskan in 2014 after winning the Superettan in 2013.
Pat McCann has re-signed with Finn Harps FC of the First Division of the League of Ireland. The former Holy Cross product appeared in 12 games in 2013, scoring two goals.
Eric Lichaj went 90 minutes for Nottingham Forest on Thursday as they came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2 against Watford. While he has been playing left back lately, he played at right back in this game.
And finally, this random Youtube video of the day comes courtesy of Alex (@tempofreesoccer). Here are highlights of the US U-20′s win over Uruguay in the 2007 U-20 World Cup. The US has Michael Bradley, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore among others while Uruguay featured Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. And there is a shoving match/fight at the end of the game. You don’t mess with a full head of hair Michael Bradley. Good times.